And In This Corner, A Garden Sampler

According to Aristotle, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” This small corner of my garden agrees.

Assorted garden volunteers

There are all sorts of gardening rules to insure your success:

  • Do not over plant or crowd your seedlings
  • Make sure your plant gets the proper amount of sunlight
  • Water appropriately to support healthy roots
  • and so on.

Then the usual suspects blow into town and make a mockery of it all. With some assist from the wind, a few birds and other garden foragers, this perfect little gem of a corner came together without any help from the gardener (that’s me).

None of these plants are garden strangers. They enjoyed their stay last season and decided to make a come back. Below my window, and along the patio’s edge, a sampler garden is born.

Garden Sampler

Four o’clock Mirabilis jalapa

This prolific annual grows quickly with a low, sprawling habit. The original plant grew at the front of the house in the Children’s Garden, producing lovely yellow blooms around four o’clock each day, hence the name. I saved lots of seeds, but honestly, I needn’t have bothered. Two months ago, several seedlings started to grow.


Cyclamen grow from tubers. They die back each year, returning in the winter and early spring, preferring cooler temps. This lovely pink variety is flowering like mirrored twins.

Polka dot plant Hypoestes phyllostachya

This spotted pink darling self-seeded from a pot nearby. Late in the summer, tiny purple flowers appeared. It’s nice to have that splash of pink joining the others.

New Zealand Hair Sedge

Every garden needs some breezy grasses, right? It’s the perfect backdrop for the pinks in the foreground.

Tomato Plant nightshade Solanum lycopersicum

Rounding out this densely populated corner is a tomato plant. Just like last year, tomatoes are popping up all over the garden. The plant is doing fine now, but once the Acer fills out for the summer, the tomato won’t receive much light. I don’t have the heart to try to move it so it stays. There are no rules that say tomatoes have to bear fruit. It can enjoy the quiet solitude of the corner and do whatever it wants.

garden sampler

Blogging 100: Day Twelve

Our Blogging University assignment for today is to “Increase Your Commenting Confidence.” I’m pretty chatty around here. I drop comments all over the blogosphere and receive thoughtful and thought-provoking comments on my blog in turn. I followed the instructions, though to

“read six posts written in response to the same prompt, and leave comments on at least two of them.”




The Unexpected

One of the best things about gardening is the unexpected.  Like the weed growing through the crack of an urban sidewalk, nature lets us know that she’s got things under control. So while I till the soil with great expectations, and smile when things I plant grow, I also delight at what I didn’t see coming.

Here are a few:

Orange Cosmos

orange cosmos

Orange Cosmos burst on the scene

I’ve grown pink and white cosmos, from seed and from starters. One summer a volunteer crop grew as tall as me , producing flowers all summer long.  That same year I gave away seeds at Christmas. They’re such an easy-breezy flower to grow. Imagine my surprise though to discover this mystery plant was orange.  Isn’t it stunning? This plant is a meter tall and started blooming this week.

orange cosmo

Late afternoon bloom

Tomato, Tomato

tomato plant in crevice

Out of step: Tomato plant grows from the patio steps

After clearing away the last of the Anemones, I found a tomato plant growing out of the bottom of the patio steps. It was probably staying warm from the plant cover and didn’t know it was fall.  I can’t bare to pull it out, so I’ll leave it for now and see what the plant has in store. It makes me smile

Passionate Pink

Pink zinnia

Zinnia bud

Tomorrow’s Zinnia

This self-sown Zinnia took the place of the Bachelor Buttons in my triangle garden. It offers a pretty pop of pink as the rest of the annuals go to sleep, an unexpected color on this gray day.

Another Pumpkin?

fall pumpkin

The little pumpkin that tried

Look at this little pumpkin trying to grow. It even flowered.

Nature’s Ribbon

Have you ever curled ribbon with the edge of your scissors?  If you scrape the wrong edge, you end up straightening the ribbon instead. That’s why I’m particularly impressed with this self-curled edge of a fern. This plant makes it look easy.

nature made curlicue

Garden ribbon

Wishing you a weekend of the beautifully unexpected*

*Rats and broken appliances do not apply