Just because you plant a garden doesn’t mean that you know what’s going to come up. This is especially true if you get your garden plants from someone else’s garden! Many things in my garden had their beginnings next door in the original Maywood yard. Why buy hostas, periwinkle, daylilies, daffodils, lily of the valley, or red maple trees when I can dig all I want for free next door? And there are other things over there whose names I don’t know but they are pretty and grow well here. When you have a wooded lot and find a plant that thrives under your exact conditions, it’s a no-brainer. Dig some up and plant it in your yard too.
A couple of years ago, my in-laws were preparing to rip up a hillside for a new septic field. After sixty-odd years, it was time! But zut alors! That hillside was loaded with daffodils. There were so many daffodils that I could cut fistfuls and fistfuls for the house without putting a dent in the appearance of the flower covered hill. We were told, “If you want daffodils, get them now.” So we dug up as much as we had energy to dig and planted big clumps all around our yard.
One clump, however, will not grow flowers. It just gets big and green. I’ve been told it’s a male plant. Huh, who knew? I keep meaning to rip it out but then it fades and I forget about it. Last summer, I noticed a lone lily growing there in mid-summer. And I forgot about that too. Today being a delightfully cool day, I took a stroll around the yard to assess the weed situation. (Note that I did not go out to actually weed, just to assess the situation!) Lo and behold, a clump of lilies resides in that spot. And incredibly enough, they are pink, like the cone flower and the phlox that grow there.
It’s possible that a bird dropping provided the lily, but I like to think that it is a leftover from something that John’s grandparents planted back when they were about our age. Having a flower pop up in our yard that way is like coming across my grandmother’s handwriting on an heirloom recipe. What a pleasant reminder and connection to the years of gardening associated with this place.