I am going to show you two perversities in my garden. Plants behaving independently and against all plans.
The first is a follow up to my last post, where I got all excited about the hedge of bottlebrush buckeyes (Aesculus parviflora) growing along the back line of my property. They are blooming recklessly now, in big bottlebrush shaped spikes.
All except one. There are five plants in this row. For three years now, consistently, the second one from the left blooms a full two weeks after the others.
In fact, the candles of the other four shrubs will have extinguished and begun to form their buckeye nuts just as the second one from the left opens its blooms. This has happened every year.
Okay, it extends the bloom period into August, with that last shrub showing off by itself for weeks after the others are gone. But this is a hedge --- a row of all one kind of plant. It is all supposed to be in bloom at once.
Nothing looks different about the tardy one, but I think it may be a special cultivar --- var. serotina, or a named variety, 'Rogers'. Those are reputed to bloom two to three weeks later than the species. It's possible that's what got mixed in with my mail order shipment from Nature Hills when these were sent to me in 2007.
One of these is not like the others, even though they all look alike. I think I got four species plants and one later blooming cultivar. It could be a supplier mistake, but it might just be plant mischief.
The second perversity involves the simple annual, Nicotiana alata, or flowering tobacco. I bought flats this year of these pretty, fragrant flowers, in shades of soft pink, and they all died. They all got a disease and did not thrive. All were removed and disposed of in the trash so the disease would not spread.
Then, this morning, on a trip to the compost pile, I noticed a stand of white flowering tobacco, happily growing by the grass clippings.
Is that perverse, or what? I try to grow something and have no success, but wildings pop up wherever they want to.
I transplanted the clump from the compost pile into my garden, in front of the patio wall where I can smell it up close in the evening.
It will probably get all funny on me and refuse to live anywhere else but the grass clipping heap. Already it has closed its trumpets in protest over the transplant.
The late flowering buckeye and the wild flowering tobacco are reminders that I am not in control in my own garden. The plants are.
At least I know it.