Friday, June 02, 2006

Surprise! Surprise! Expect the Unexpected

Not too long ago, this was going to be a blog about my trip to the garden store and the process of selecting interesting plant combinations for container planting. Plant shopping with my husband is not unlike what I would imagine it to be in choosing flowers with Bob Newhart. the garden nursery

Me: Look at this gorgeous magenta Osteospermum. Won't this look great with the coleus transplants?
Mr.B: This purple daisy?
Me: It's called cape daisy in some places, but its less confusing to call it Osteospermum
Mr. B: Less confusing to who?
Me: It helps to better care for a plant to know something about its plant history and native habitat. Osteospermum tells me that it requires cool afternoons, well drained soil, and a strong dose of phosphorus for bloom production.
Mr B: It looks like a daisy.

*sigh* And so it does.....

After what seemed like 40 days and 40 nights of rain, a trip to the nursery, a bad case of bronchitis and moving our youngest son to NYC, I finally had the opportunity to get outside to take a few pictures. I first surveyed my long neglected garden, expecting to see perennials on the verge of bursting open in color but what I discovered instead took my breath away. I was truly surprised, and not in a"crap, the rabbits ate off the top of my zinnias" kind of way, but in a "WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?" kind of way. The garden was filled with one delightful surprise after another, and from a person who works in a field of theatrical illusions, let's just say I don't shock or surprise very easily.

Who would have guessed that I could be twice surprised in one week, first by the exciting entrance of one Clay Aiken onto the AI finale stage, and then by the unexpected pleasures in my garden? I learned a long time ago to expect the unexpected when it comes to a Clay Aiken appearance or the powers of mother nature. They both never cease to amaze me. This week, I was once again thrilled by the voice that continues to move me after all this time, and humbled by the artistry of nature's designs.

So instead of my carefully chosen plants, my first pics are in tribute to the mysteries and surprising delights in the garden ( to YSRN and Conclayve-Nan who inspired me to take them) and to the man who can still make my jaw drop to the floor when I least expect it.

Gazing down over the ledge I took in the wildflowers of wild geranium and dame's rocket that were in full bloom on the hillside. The wind had carried the wildflower seeds across my yet undeveloped patch of land as if to mock my hard work in cultivating the rocky clay soil. The drift of purple/pink blooms ebbed and flowed over the land in a way gardeners only hope to achieve. These phlox-like wildflowers may seem delicate to the observer, but they are tough as nails. No diseases or weak stalks on these beauties.

Last fall, the birds were rather busy carrying the seeds from violet and pansy pots in last year's garden and randomly distributing them throughout the garden bed. This spring, again to my surprise, a blanket of blue and yellow covers the soil beneath the developing perennials. I had to laugh at myself because the pansies I had carefully nurtured from seed had yet to bloom. These feathered "designers" had no problem developing a complimentary color palette. It's no wonder I've yet to meet a gardener who takes themself too seriously.

Although I was rather pleased with my garage sale acquisition of a ceramic pot that I was certain would make a dramatic juxtaposition to the wooded surroundings, once again the show was stolen by a drift of forget-me-nots carried on the wind. My pot is but an accent, a prop for the true star of the show. Those vibrant colors in nature have once again taken over the garden spotlight.

Sometimes looking at anything from a different perspective can grab you unexpectedly.

Two years ago I planted a clematis. For two years I watched and waited. There is nothing more spectacular than a clematis in full bloom and mine wasn't doing a darn thing. I know it sometimes takes some time for a clematis to develop strong roots and what is going on beneath the soil isn't always apparent to the ever patient gardener. This spring, to my surprise and delight, that "waiting in the wings" clematis finally burst open.

I guess some things are just worth waiting for.

Here's to "The Natural"

Please share you garden surprises!

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The ConCLAYve-Nan said...

Your pictures are wonderful beauzzartz. I can't believe how much in your garden is actually growing already. I've got lots of buds on the perennials - but the only things in real bloom are the annuals I just bought *g*. We did get our alliums, columbines and bachelor buttons but rest is waiting. Big buds on our rose bushes. First Iris opened yesterday. Peony bush has giant buds waiting to open. If the rain doesn't wash everything away - hopefully I'll have some pictures to show in a week or so.

aloil said...

Beauzzartz's plants are looking a little too good, if you know what I mean...and I think you do. (She's says eyeing the plastic houseplant by the computer.) Ahem. Not that I would know anything about putting plastic flowers outdoors, but my neighbor is an expert. Every year, she suddenly has beautiful flowers in her garden. Tulips that last from late March to early October. It's amazing! And I'm sure no one but me suspects that those tulips might not be the real deal.

Of course, this is the same neighbor that had a new cat for a month and a half sitting in different places on her front porch before I realized that it was a stuffed animal with a mechnically moving head and tail. (I kid you not!)

So the next time the rest of you want those beautiful flowers just like beauzz', don't bother with the garden store, head straight to Michael's Crafts, and your flowers will last forever!

(Gosh, beauzz, your yard is so freakin' beautiful that I'm feeling pity for the poor plants that have to live in my yard. Bravo.)

punchycats said...

What a glorious garden!! Thanks for sharing your pictures.

Shadylil said...

I am so freaking jealous of Beauz and YSRN. I have a 80 foot weed garden that even my pitchfork won't dislodge the weed's freaking roots. I think I need to poison it, but I have a dog, so that's out.


Anyway, guys, I'm having trouble uploading pics on my blog. Can anyone give me a reason or a hint? I haven't been able to for about a week.

Shadylil said...

Figured out why I couldn't post pics. If you copy and paste from WORD into the compose window, you cant' upload pics. What you have to do is to upload the pics first, then paste the article in, then cut and paste the pics where you want them.


~ YSRN ~ said...

Weee... a beauzzartz gardening blog - with a speshul kitty picture. :)

It's incredible what different climates we live in. What I would do for a little rain around here in the spring/summer and a green lawn! We had a very wet winter this year, but everything is dried to a crackly crisp already. Irrigation? What's that? I'm attached to one end of a garden hose until September.

The photo "over the ledge" is simply perfect. Oh man, do we not dream of creating that, and really, only mother nature can pull it off.

I have the exact same clematis story. I was blown away at the size and color of flowers I haven't seen for three years. I love the color of yours - the pink stripe in the center of each petal. Very pretty.

Beautiful bright begonia in that lovely garage sale acquisition - mine is just now leafing out. Love to mix hot and cold colors together... Bright orange and forget-me-not blue? Kinda like Clay in his hot orange button up and jeans.

Surprise Violets are some of my favorite things. I never let anyone pull them out.

The inspiration is mutual, I assure you. Thanks for sharing your garden! I think I feel another blog coming on myself -- but first I have about 5 more trees to plant.

Hope you've rid yourself of the bronchitis and are feeling better. Pet that kitty an extra one for me!

beauzzartz said...

Dang it aloil, you found me out! Why do you think I took those pictures from far away? You can't see the plastic connectors on the plants. The most realistic flowers already have blackspot and fungus on them with a few slug chew marks.

conclayve nan, I bet we are one or two levels off in hardiness zones. We are a 6a here, probably about one-two weeks ahead of you. Our roses and peonies opened a few days ago.

Shadylil, with all the heavy rains we've been having, I bet you can get out those weed roots now! Throw in some compost and/or manure and dead leaves and you'll get a good garden soil and make your ground less compacted at the same time. Better yet, host a PA posse party this summer and I'll dig that baby out myself.

I'm glad you figured out the picture posting. It took me awhile.

I have always thought Claynation should run a bartering center. For example, I could have one of our technological wizards help me with my computer challenged problems, and in return provide an art or garden related service. If I helped Clay with his landscaping you think he would sing for me? Yeah, didn't think so.

aloil said...

A Claynation bartering center...

That's a great idea beauzz, you could help me out with my garden, and I could... well?... hmmmm... write annoying comments on your blog?

Blast it, that's not going to work.


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