Accidental Gardening

White Iris

 

Sometimes my accidental gardening is far better than my planned gardening.  Wondering what accidental gardening is? A good example would be the plants that my sister-in-law gave me several years ago, that I almost forgot about until we were leaving on a week-long trip.  I decided to plant them in a last-minute flurry of activity before the trip, so I hastily dug spots for the bulbs (at the time I couldn’t even remember what they were!) and quite literally plopped them into their holes.  I forgot about them, until one day last Spring the long pointy green leaves began to emerge from the cold ground.  I loved the surprise of the moment, thinking that by some magic I had managed to grow a nice looking plant from the bulbs I threw in the ground with all the care of taking out the compost.  Then the blooms opened up a few weeks later and I realized that they were beautiful white irises.  By yet another stroke of luck, I had placed them nicely among the hydrangea, so that in the Spring when the hydrangea are still looking like dead sticks, these amazing white flowers pop up all around the bed.  They seem fragile and can barely hold still in a light breeze.  They fall over lazily, and do not cooperate for their photo session.   This year they performed their magic all over again, and I love them!
 
This is accidental gardening.  My planned garden is not usually quite as successful.  I will grow some tomatoes, maybe a few cucumbers, and I will tend the small raised beds with care (mostly), but I probably will not make too many salads from my summer garden.  The items that I neglect, do not water all winter and let the weeds move in next store, those things will prosper! 
 
The strawberries survived the cold winter and now are almost as amazing at the white iris.  One small plant has at least 30 blooms on it right now.  I hope they all grow, because the chance to show my children that food actually grows on plants is one of the reasons we have three gardens in our front yard!  I love to lure them to the garden with promises of strawberries picked straight from their plant, in their garden, and oh, they are really sweet and juicy when they are warm from the sun.   I get the same results from the wild blackberry vines that prick and poke me while I tend the “real” gardens. Blackberry thorns will poke right through even the best gloves.  Meanwhile, come early summer, the blackberries will overtake the azalea bushes and I will dole out fresh blackberries to the kids as we play in the yard. Nearby are the two cultivated thornless blackberry bushes that I thought would be perfect for the yard, and to date have produced about 5 berries! 
 
I hope you get the opportunity to enjoy white irises and other plants in your yard this Spring, whether you planted them on purpose or not!  Maybe you will even find some wild blackberries! 
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