Sunday, July 17, 2011

Garden Wonders

Typically on a weekend I do a Triumphs and Tragedies post but this week I found numerous little garden wonders that I felt needed to be shared with the world instead.  So take a walk with me down the driveway.  Where the driveway meets the road there is a corner filled with trees.  Spruce, poplar and maple call this spot home.  It is also Bug's corner.  Pet cemetary sounds so morbid.  Perhaps I've read too many Stephen King novels?  This week as I went by I noticed a glimpse of purple.

Do you see purple in the trees?
So I had to investigate.  And I found bell flowers.

At the foot of this poplar tree, bell flowers have taken root
Where did they come from?  There are bell flowers on this property but none near this location.  Seeds scattered on the wind?  Dropped by birds?   Who knows?  Does it matter?  They are beautiful and they are gracing a beloved's grave.  One of life's miracles.

Many may know that as I have begun creating beds on this property I have found numerous items in the soil below.  This is an old country home and years ago there was no garbage service.  I believe the garbage was simply dug into yard and as I dig my beds I find all sorts of interesting items.  A few weeks ago I dug up a spoon.  This week I found the fork.  Now I just need a knife to complete the set!

As summer marches on so do the weeds.  I haven't done any work in the back bed for some time so this week I returned and decided to get some weeding done.  To my utter surprise I found cilantro everywhere.  I planted sunflower seeds in this bed, could cilantro seeds have dropped out of my pocket while I was doing other planting?  Possibly but it seemed a long shot.  Beside the cilantro was another plant that didn't resemble a weed at all but I just wasn't sure what it could be.

I went to bed that night with cilantro in my brain and suddenly a light bulb lit up.  Tomatoes!  So I went back the next day and sure enough.  A rub on the stem verified the smell of tomato.  Surely tomato seeds didn't fall out of my pocket too?  No, they did not.  I had forgotten that I ran out of bagged store manure when digging this bed and used a wheelbarrow of homemade compost to finish.  Apparently when I tossed the old cilantro plants in the compost last fall the seeds were ripe and only needed to be spread in the garden to burst into life.  Likewise I tend to scrape seeds out of my tomatoes - I find the gooey bits extremely unappetizing - and into the compost.  Surprise!

And that in turn explains the other garden wonder.  I had abandoned the entrance bed for a time.  Tired of digging weeds.  Tired of trying to place perennials.  I turned my attention elsewhere.  And when I returned the homemade compost I used in this bed had sprung to life as well.  I'll be eating cilantro and tomatoes for months to come.  But what's this?

Oh how I laughed.  Earlier that very day Brenda @ Gardeningbren had suggested I plant squash in this bed to fill the gaps in between the newly planted perennials.  The gardening gods heard you Bren and agreed.  Could this be last years Halloween pumpkin come back to me?


  1. what lovely little tresures you have found Marguerite, I love coming across selfseeded plants, if I don't want them they are easy to pull or replant to a more suitable location, Frances

  2. I too love coming across self planted seeds in the landscape - always so fun to find something that you knew didn't exist before but nature thought you needed to have! Hope to see you at Cottage Flora Thursday's garden party!?! oxxo, tracie

  3. I have several mystery tomatoes that were planted the same way - through compost. All you need is some onions and chilies and you can make salsa!

  4. It is nice you can grow those at the same time. Cilantro gives up in our heat. Hard to make salsa without it.

  5. Oh I had a good chuckle when I saw that squash plant! It was meant to be and it might well be your last year's pumpkin.

    The fork and spoon were a delight, loved the roundness of the spoon ...most of todays are more egg shaped.

    Compost sure does offer up wonderful surprises! and further digging in your garden should as well.

  6. What a lovely surprise! :) I too have tomato plants sprouting from seeds in my compost and potatoes sprouting from the tiny ones I somehow miss when I did them up every fall.

  7. Frances - one of the benefits of falling behind on weeding is finding these volunteers. As you say, they are easy to pull out or move if I choose. In this case I will just let them be where they are as there's plenty of space for everyone.

    Tracie - I like that notion. Nature thought I needed to have these plants and put them there for me! so much of gardening is just letting nature take it's course.

    TS - you said it! Salsa season is just around the corner. I add cilantro, carrots and garlic to mine, as well as onions and peppers.

    Tufa - at least we have one benefit of a cold climate! I have lots of cool veggies - spinach, lettuce, cilantro all growing well right now alongside the tomatoes. Salsa just isn't right without cilantro.

  8. Bren - I'll have to keep you posted as this plant develops and we'll see what sort of fruit it bears. I like the spoon shape too. Even the fork is different, with extra long flat tines. They may become a wind chime one of these days.

    Melanie - I've had tomatoes spring up before but never potatoes. I'm so greedy when it comes to fresh poatoes I'll dig until I find every last one!

  9. Funny that you have found almost a set of dinnerware in your garden. I wonder if it was left over from a picnic, children playing in the garden and needing 'tools' to dig with or what. Fun stuff. My compost also has a squash growing. I don't know what kind. It will be interesting to see if it comes to fruition. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Cheers.

  10. I love that fork and spoon Marguerite! They look antique in fact: )
    Now how funny to find unexpected flowers and veggies ? I tried to grow small pumpkins on the deck (I have no room in the perennial beds) I did have a wee pumpkin a few years back but haven't tried since then .. you have inspired me to try for next year though .. I miss seeing those fantastic vines and flowers from them : )
    PS .. if you could hear me when I lose my pruners and trowels you would LAUGH ! wink wink

  11. Last year I had numerous squash and tomato seedlings popping up everywhere from our home made compost. It doesn't seem to have happened this year, perhaps becuase I moved the heaps twice so they were turned (I'm too lazy to do this usually) and so rotted down hotter and faster? Enjoy the fruits of the non-labour! Lovely campanulas.

  12. You seem to be finding lots of treasures in your garden! This brought back memories of the year when I was ten and we had moved into a new single-family house. My father spent a lot of time during the fall preparing and seeding a front lawn, and finished it just about halloween. Some seeds from a pumpkin smashed in the street made their way into the new lawn, where they were carefully tended along with the grass seed. The next year, we didn't have to buy pumpkins for halloween; we had them growing in the front yard. -Jean

  13. I know too well about finding buried treasures...well, if you could call them that, in the garden. There wasn't garbage service here until fairly recently, and the previous owners clearly burned or buried their garbage in the soil near our current vegetable garden. I wish I'd only found cutlery, we've had items as large as bed frames and old satellite dishes! Trade you? ;)

  14. Ahh, we can't find any 'garbage' on our property - I'm so jealous!
    A wee bit of broken pottery, and that's it. Considering there did use to be a homestead here from way back, I'm thinking there HAS to be a midden someplace!

  15. It must be fascinating to discover all of these finds in the yard as you dig around the garden. You must find all sorts of treasures.

  16. I like the idea that you can find vegetables and herbs and the cutlery to eat them with, all growing on their own in your garden!

  17. Gee, you got to love those garden surprises. Treasures from the past, I found a great deal of them on the old homestead. Of all things a car part a big one too. Thanks for the walk down the driveway, nice to see flowers just surprise you.

    lol, cilantro does look like tomato now that I think of it. Come by for a blog visit some time soon - I don't blog or read often in the summer as it can be busy at times but I'm always near.

  18. Hi Marguerite: If you find enough silverware, you can design a wind chime with them..I bought one once with a white tin cup and silverware dangling from that..compost gives us the greatest treasures as does self-seeding..only had to plant dill once..and have it every year.Also have a strawberry/spinach plant that reseeds best pumpkins and squash were from the compost..These surprises are a gardeners delight..usually!! Can't garden much here, having a heat wave..supposed to hit 36 on Thursday...Happy gardening Lannie

  19. Cute. The lunch table is set. Tomatoes and potatoes always find their way from compost to garden. The only ones that make it to maturity though are the potatoes if I let them. This year though, none from the compost.

  20. Hi Marguerite, I really enjoyed reading this magical post. What wonderful little surprises; from the fork and spoon to the unexpected flowers near a pet's grave!

  21. Hi! Laurrie at My Weeds Are Very Sorry posted a link to a blog about apples that made me think of you. :)


  22. Lisa - I hadn't considered the utensils could have been left in the yard inadvertantly. Great story line. I love to ponder where these items may have come from.

    Joy - I thought you of all people would have pumpkins growing somewhere! Although I admit they take up quite a bit of room. Did you see Jim and Pat's pumpkins last year? they took over the yard!

    Janet - I can't decide whether having volunteer plants means I'm a good composter (obviously it was too cold but it's fun to find new plants) or bad because my compost wasn't hot enough.

    Jean - what a great surprise that would have been for you at that age! watching pumpkins grow right in the front yard would be terribly exciting.

  23. Clare - I would happily take a bed frame, think of the trellis opportunities! although I admit I find my share of burned debris too which isn't fun picking out of the dirt.

    Kim - how lucky that you aren't finding debris. although this has been entertaining who knows what is lurking in the soil and possibly contaminating the plants.

    Sage Butterfly - the reality is that 90% of the time I find broken glass which is actually a bit annoying. I spend a lot of time picking out shards from the ground so they won't get stuck in pussy cat paws but I do enjoy making up stories about where the items came from.

    Laurrie - LOL, that hadn't even occurred to me.

  24. Cindy - somewhere deep below in our yard I have been told there is an entire car. It's amazing what one might find if they started looking.

    Lannie - You read my mind! I have seen those chimes many times and they're quite beautiful. We bought a very fancy one for my MIL a couple years ago with a silver teapot forming the base and the cutlery hanging from it.

    Donna - I had the same thought about the plants maturing. Some of the tomatoes are quite large so they have a slight chance but many will be pulled as they are just too small.

  25. Jennifer - I had thought several times I would plant flowers near our pet's grave but never did. It was lovely to find some made it there on their own.

    Janet - I love that about gardens, there's something new each time you look.

    TS - thank you for pointing this out! I read Laurrie's blog but have missed a lot of posts this past week due to my accident. I'll go back and look for this one.