It’s a beautiful late summer day. There’s a warm breeze, the sun is shining, and my gardens are in full blossom. I can’t help but marvel just what a weird growing season I’ve enjoyed with my water plants, my flowers and my vegetables. It’s like some kind of strange juju took over the soil, the water too, and gave me mutant plants springing up from every corner of the yard.
But that’s okay.
It’s given me something to look for this year. Where’s a pesky tomato plant going to pop up? Oh, there, in the flower pot! How strange. And look at the mutant tomatoes hanging off it. They look like elongated balls. Dare we eat them? Dare we not? Maybe I’ll pass those along to my co-workers.
And who planted all these errant pumpkins, gords and Indian corn? I think it was the birds or my neglect in cleaning up the fall decorations before the first snows fell. Regardless, there’s a white pumpkin taking over my front flower bed, climbing up the fence and tangling across the walkway. There’s a huge green one barging through the vegetable garden and a stalk of corn growing in the front yard. My husband has carefully mowed around the things all summer long, weeding by hand when he had too. Soon, my daughter and I will go out and pull the corn off the stalk and be surprised at the many colors under the husk. I’m excited; she is too. We talk about it on our way out the door to school.
The flowers weren’t to be outdone by the vegetables either. There are petunias growing where none were planted this year. In fact, there were no petunias planted at all! But there they are, a soft pink, thriving in my wheelbarrow planter. And why did my miniature rose bushes take the months of July and August off only to beginning growing, and even blooming, in September? They are tangled in the back flower garden, amongst a million volunteer tomatoes, defying me not to notice them. There’s impatiens growing in composting soil, daisies trailing along the ground blooming like mad and a huge begonia pushing zinnias and gazinnias out of the way as it searches for sun.
Even the pond wasn’t exempt from oddities. The entire surface is covered with native floating lettuce, which isn’t supposed to be native in our area, yet somehow managed to survive a winter on a larger lake. We’ve given them away, tossed them away, spread them to the other pond and yet these guys keep reproducing. They are as numerous as the fish. The lilies are abundant too. Their pads reaching across the pond from their pots and their flowers budding white, yellow, pink and red. They were incredible this year, sometimes ten or more buds covering the surface. They kept coming and coming. Sometimes being elusive with their open blooms and other times surprising me with an unexpected burst of color.
This summer was full of surprises in my garden. It was a mingling of last year’s determined plantings taking hold and hanging on over a rough winter and this year’s soaking up the sun and rain. It was a mixture of using old favorites and adding new plants. Playing with colors and sizes and making it all seem whimsical. It was challenging my garden to serve and delight me all at once.
I hope that I’ve planted the seeds for another spectacularly garden.