SURPRISE!

 

That’s what plants in the garden are still shouting this late in the year. I am agog to find a stalk of gladiola blooming yellow, even after the frosts we’ve had. Wandering the yard after a long walk last week, I spied a tall stem of hollyhock sporting vermillion flowers amidst the other blackened stems and seed buds. Wha???

Then, in the herb garden was a blooming calendula where I’d planted seeds way last spring. Some sprouted and grew about an inch and a half and stayed there all summer. I dumped the soil from one of Neal’s grow pots onto the area, and a few weeks later, this calendula was where it should have been by June. Guess it helps to amend the soil from time to time.

Lavender is still blooming in the herb garden, as well as echinaceas up the front walk. What is going on, anyway? Back behind my Japanese Willow, the red dahlias that should have been here by September at least, have finally arrived, short and spindly, but here, nevertheless. I will dig them up and replant next spring in an area with more sun.

Obviously, these surprises can point out gardening lessons.

Even in the pouring rain, outside my bedroom window I can take delight in the two mounds of mauve heather. Every year I go out when it’s the least wet and cut myself some heather here and there to make some flower bundles for my tiny vases. Just today, my garden tour in the surprise of November sun netted me the vision of a hot pink blooming rose, royal blue lithodora, and the beginning dusky rose blooms of the baby hellebores that sprouted up this past spring.

Speaking of surprises—

Lots of us gift our friends with amaryllis bulbs at Christmas time, and they us, so we all can watch the beauty of Nature unfold into gorgeous red blooms. When it was done blooming, I placed mine from last year on the garage floor and ignored it where it sat without water in the dark most of the time until last week when I noticed—surprise!—a green leaf had begun growing. I found a pretty red pot, put the plastic white pot containing the bulb into it, refreshed the required amount of soil on top, fed it a teensy amount of fertilizer, and placed it inside where I can watch the miracle of growth again this Christmas. I love saying “Oooh!” and “Ahhh!”

My friend Sherryl gave me the idea for how I could give another surprise for Christmas to my plant-loving friends. Because she buys tulips from a company that sends only in bulk, 50 at a time, she shares with her friends. She plants a cluster of tulips, usually three, in cute flowerpots, then gives the recipients the colorful little garden-to-go as gifts. That’s a good idea because it circumvents inadvertently feeding those nasty rodents that like tulip bulbs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when you plant the bulbs into the ground. I love foiling them! Nyah-ha-ha!

No matter what season they arrive in, typical or not, or from what provenance, I am grateful for the surprises the miracle of Nature provides me with. I hope this season provides you with an abundance of wonderful surprises as well!

 

 

 

 

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