Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Accidents in the Garden

Sometimes it is the unplanned garden combinations that turn me on the most.

I planted the Pink Zazzle (a hybrid gomphrena of secretive parentage), but the sweet Alyssum came up all on its own, and from a variety (one of the 'Stream' series) that I thought was sterile. Perfect partners!

This paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrisiflora) occupies a pot that perfectly matches its coloring. And behind it, 'Red Sails' lettuce picks up the leaf margins. All of these contributors were leftovers and castoffs: the paddle plant, a lanky stem cut from a plant that began to sprout at the base; the pot left over from a bay laurel that outgrew it; and as for the lettuce seedlings, I couldn't bear to throw them out.

 And there are times, many times in fact, when being a messy gardener pays off. Lettuce, Nigella, and bells of Ireland all sprouted from seed tossed (with very little thought about the consequences) on the ground last fall. The sweet Alyssum and 'Golden Jubilee' agastache were intentional, but who knew they would be befriended so sweetly? Bells of Ireland, I have found, must move from place to place in order to thrive. It appears to be autotoxic -- even more so than sunflowers.

Rudbeckia maxima needs sturdy companions, so isn't it lovely that larkspur stepped in to fill the gaps between this trio: the giant coneflower, Agastache foeniculum, and Phlox paniculata 'Robert Poore'.

Here bells of Ireland and larkspur fill in the spaces between phlox and 'Blue Shadow' fothergilla. Dill, though not in this photo, plays a minor but beautiful role. 

I appreciate the aesthetics of these garden happenings because they came about, more or less, on their own. 

I enjoy them without the weight of pride.