Older, but no wiser

The garden is a series of mysteries, and though it occurs to me that after gardening for forty years I should have learned a thing or two, I’m reminded constantly that I know very little. Every year, and each season has its oddities, and I suppose that this year has had a more generous number than most.

The passion flower vine (Passiflora in bloom last year, above) did not come back this year. When the vine reached the top of its support last summer I made plans to tie a cable to the summerhouse so that the vine would cling to it and blooms would cascade as you walk beneath. Though it is dependably cold hardy the passion flower vine apparently did not like the prolonged snow cover, and it died. Or so I thought.

The third week of August a sprig appeared that could have easily been mistaken for a weed, except that my suspicions were aroused since it was directly in the spot where the vine should have been, had it survived. More from neglect than curiosity the weed wasn’t pulled, and within days I recognized the foliage to be the dead passion flower vine. It is now growing with the vigor that I would have expected months earlier, and why it would decide to grow suddenly in late August, I have no clue.

I suspect that there will be no blooms this year, but expect that I will be configuring the wire in early summer next year, so this small project will have been delayed for a year.

Across the patio, perched above a small mossy granite boulder that borders the large pond, the alstromeria (above) appeared weeks late in the spring, barely surviving the snow and ice, and though it will usually bloom in June I was happy enough that it showed life at all. Feeble as it is, to my surprise a bud, and then a lone bloom popped up in the past week.

A few of the Encore azaleas (Twist azalea in bloom in mid-August, above) have begun to bloom a month earlier than the mid-September date that I usually expect to see the second flush of blooms. I have an idea why, something to do with an earlier spring bloom date followed by prolonged high temperatures, but I find too much thinking to be cumbersome. The garden is not an academic study, so enjoy and don’t spend too much time pondering consequences and failures.

I could go on, but why embarrass myself needlessly when there are other signs of success in the garden. Though I attribute little of the beauty to my gardening skill, I will take some measure of credit in stubbornly continuing to plant when there is evidence that I understand so little.

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2 thoughts on “Older, but no wiser

  1. I too had presumed my passionflower vine had died. Just last week I noticed that it had started growing up the fence, hidden by some salvia that’s blooming profusely in front of it. I was very surprised to see it emerging so late!! I was also surprised by the vast number of salvia that self-seeded from a 6-pack I planted last year.

    • Every year I have seedlings of pansies and Black Pearl pepper come up in the cracks of the stone paths. I leave the pansies, which don’t amount to much in the dry ground, but I pot up the peppers so I don’t have to buy new ones.

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