Thursday, December 13, 2012

Accidently on Purpose

Harley with daylilies.
Are you the kind of person whose dogs and cats are yours because someone dumped them, or someone had to move away and couldn't take it, or a friend's pet had a litter and they couldn't take care of them all?

You’re the person whose every animal was an accident waiting to happen; or more likely an accident waiting for you. You're never going to have a purebred anything because you’re full up with surprise packages.

Gardening can be like that, too. When a gardener offers you a start of their favorite whatever, you thank them and then plop it someplace because you hadn't really planned on their favorite whatever. Admit it: You cannot turn down a free whatever plant.

I'm certainly in that category. A plant from someone else is like they've given me a part of their heart! The practical side is: It's free!

As I tend my garden, I'm often drawn to the plants given to me. They are not only a lovely plant; they are tied to the memory of that someone. 

I’ve always maintained a plant from another gardener yard is hardier than commercial plants.  Probably because they come from like circumstances.  

Comphrey in bloom.
On the flip side, I've regretted a few plants and the spots where they were plopped. The one that comes to mind first is Comphrey. It has so many things about it that works in my yard and it has been a plant that took yeoman’s work to keep in check.

I was truly blessed with several pick-up loads of plants when we first got this house. Most of my hosta came from that donor. Both a wonderful landscaping opportunity and mega monetary gift.

Because the donation came a day before the work, I simply plopped them all into two plots - one shade and one full sun. Over the years, I've moved, divided, treasured and destroyed.

My gardens will never look organized, sculpted, landscaped or orderly. It simply can't when I add interesting and donated plants willy nilly. Willy nilly being tucking a donated plant into any little space not already filled.

Tucking into spots often means a beautiful companion in the way of colors, size and bloom season. It will surprise with how something works without my making a plan. The flip side is some plants get moved several times before I find the right place.

Bee Balm "Red" with daylilies
I can admire the disciplined gardener and their disciplined gardens. I can absorb the serenity of balanced composition. It's just not me and my gardens.

Take a few examples:  We had dog named “Harley” because my husband had wanted a black Harley Davidson motorcycle for years.  Upon visiting the Kewanee Humane Society’s facility, a little black lab named Harley won the day. 

A small cardboard box was on my desk one morning at work.  In it was a sad little injured yellow kitten with a note that read “I was hit by a semi this morning, someone saw and picked me up from the roadside.  They can’t keep me but know you will take care of me.”  Enter our lives:  Paul the cat.

The garden examples are so many it would be hard to list and downright wrong to not list them all.  Suffice it to say, “Thanks for the memories!” 

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