03 September 2008

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Garden

The garden is occupying my thoughts as the season winds down. I'm getting ready to plant bulbs for next spring (about 100 of them--eep). I can't believe leaves are already falling, albeit only a few.

In the meantime, though, there are still flowers to enjoy and fun discoveries to make. When we moved, we brought a separate van-load of garden plants with us (not to mention a couple of car-loads of houseplants). Because I was recovering from wrist surgery during the move, I didn't actually do any of the transplanting, so I wasn't sure what plants were in what pots. Now I'm enjoying some surprises.

My mom did a lot of the transplanting for me. After she was done, I started feeling guilty about leaving one of the roses. It had been at the old house when we moved in. Despite being poorly placed in near-complete shade, with weeds choking it more every year (I spent 8 years weeding that garden and all I ended up with was more weeds...) it still produced beautiful pink blooms. It also never had any problems with blackspot or mildew. And here I was about to abandon it just because it didn't have a scent. This was a couple of days before we left and we were incredibly busy, so poor S had to head out in the dark to dig that rose up so we could bring it. At the time, he mentioned that he dug up another rose as well, but since I was pretty sure nothing else had survived the weeds, I thought maybe he'd made a mistake. Then I forgot all about it.

In spring when I was putting the transplanted plants into the ground, I was still sure there was only one rose in that pot. Yes, there was a big chunk of what looked like dead wood, but I thought it was just part of one plant. The other part of the plant was green and healthy. Well, both parts ended up sprouting, only one is low and shrubby and the other is tall, like a climber. They also bloomed at different times, although both had pink flowers. So it looks like we rescued two rose plants from oblivion. They do seem much happier, despite the caterpillar activity around here (but that's another story).

The other surprise happened this week. One of the plants we brought from the other garden was a recently acquired clematis. We had another, dark purple clematis but I thought it was too big to move and planned on replacing rather than transplanting it. I guess my mom had other ideas. After we moved and I settled all the plants into their new homes, my mom kept mentioning the dark purple clematis. I kept telling her we left it behind. After all, there was only one pot with one clematis in it. The light purple one we'd brought bloomed early on, but I was excited last week to see new buds. A few days ago, the new buds bloomed...into dark purple flowers. Looking at the plant more carefully, I noticed some of the leaves were lighter green and some darker. Looking more carefully still, I saw that the base of the stems are completely different (one has one big stem and one has multiple skinny stems). My mom was right--we did bring the dark purple one along too. So, along with a third clematis I bought after we moved, I now have one early-blooming light purple clematis, one mid-late blooming near-black clematis, and one late-blooming dark purple clematis. Accidental garden design at its best.

Because I've been so busy settling in, I haven't had much chance to break out the camera. I will have to remedy that. In the meantime, I found this photo of a clematis similar to mine.

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