Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A beautiful volunteer

I’m sitting on my porch, loving the new laptop.  What better place to write about gardening? A cool breeze is blowing, rain clouds are overhead, and occasional sprinkles spatter on the tin roof.

A volunteer American beautyberry is now living in the natural area in front of my house. I found it this summer, drooping in the August heat. I thought it looked like beautyberry, but being a lazy botanist, I did not take the time to look it up and identify it for sure. I like the uncertainty, the mystery. I did take the time to water it a few times, hoping it would survive.

With the drenching rain we received the first week of September, the berries immediately turned that beautiful magenta color that I have been envisioning in my garden for a long time. I was right!  I didn’t want the beautyberry badly enough to actually plant it, I guess. But I’m so happy that a bird planted and fertilized it for me!

Perhaps it is not in the perfect location for its temperament. It is partially shaded by mountain junipers, live oaks, and flame-leaf sumacs, but gets quite a lot of mid-day sun. It is far from a water spigot. However, as I, and many a gardener before me, have discovered, plants that volunteer seem to volunteer in spots where they can be successful. And now that it is established, perhaps the seeds will be transported to other, more perfect, locations on my property.

Favorite spot in the garden today:

Under the cedar trees by the rock patio, the white and red tropical sages have naturalized. Because of the aforementioned rain, they are blooming profusely. In the midst are a couple of century plants that were plopped there five years ago, pending permanent planting out by the front gate. Thank goodness they have not actually taken hold and grown, but have merely existed.  (I know what you’re thinking:  get those things out of there – and you’re right!) Nature has created, as it does, a lovely little garden spot.

1 comment:

  1. love your post. it is always great to know how nature put out surprises. i also had a similar experience with my lemonade berries. i was sitting at my pergola porch when i found out a small lemonade berry shrub blossoming under my maple tree. it was really a surprise for me. i always wanted a lemonade berry