It’s fun to find new things that pop up unexpectedly in the garden – especially good things! I’m not talking about weeds. I was walking through the wooded area of my yard the other day and I found this fern.
As I walked over to examine it, I realized it was growing in an area that used to be a hole. I had filled the hole with some spare dirt and plant clippings. The dirt must have contained some root fragments of the Southern Wood fern that I have in the front yard (Thelypteris kunthii) - I had been trying to transplant some into pots, but I thought the plant had died in the pot. I guess I was more successful than I thought! That is one reason that I never truly “throw away” things like that; I have had too many things sprout later, months after I had given up on them.
The next day I was working in another area, and I spotted this colorful seedling. It is a mapleleaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) that must have been planted by a bird for me. My mature plants have plenty of berries so the source of the seed is probably the plants about 100 feet away from this baby.
Those of us that participate in plant society plant rescues (with developer permission) often get surprises in our rescued plants. This is especially true when you dig up plants after spring ephemerals in the area have gone dormant – trilliums (Trillium) and trout lilies (Erythronium) are two such plants. Here is a trout lily that hitch-hiked it’s way into my garden one year.
Of course, not all found things are desirable, not even the hitch-hikers. Many years ago I dug up a native azalea on a rescue site during the winter. Imagine my surprise when a bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) popped up next to it in the spring. Unfortunately I had planted that azalea in a very fertile environment – that bracken fern was soon popping up in the lawn nearby as far as 6 feet away!
But all in all, I’d say Mother Nature is pretty kind to me. I hope she will continue to send these surprises my way!