April 09, 2011

Welcome surprises

Has this ever happened to you? You inherit a garden and you’re surprised by the plants that appear each year. Or, you plant bulbs and perennials and they seem to change from one year to the next.

One garden patch near my patio, for example, contains numerous spring bulbs planted by the previous owners. Every year, I’m surprised by the plants that emerge in April. For example, I don’t recall seeing these Purple Crocuses before.

Perhaps I just don’t remember, but you’d think I would have snapped photos of them. And I do have many shots of these White Crocuses from the past. They haven’t made an appearance this year.

Didn’t I have some yellow ones, too? Do Crocuses change color?

I thought the rabbits had finally destroyed all the Tulips in the garden, but I noticed today several remain—the ones tucked into corners a bit too tight for the rabbits to reach.

And what are these? Grape Hyacinths? Snowdrops? Something else?

This is a mysterious section of the garden. I never know which bulbs will dominate. But I look forward to the surprises every year. 


  1. I'm always surprised by what pops up each year. :o) Last year during a big Perennial Hokey Pokey (You take one plant out, you put one plant in..)I moved so many plants that I can't remember where I put everything. I must have thought an allium bulb was a rock because I have an allium growing out of a little rock pile next to a window well by the basement. Maybe your crocuses have decided to go blonde this year! :o)

  2. I too had that happen this year. i planted white and a lone purple showed up. The crocus have been in for years too. Maybe the rabbits and squirrels are playing tricks.

  3. That middle photo looks like tulip foliage. Great fun, trying to identify what's coming up. What looks like 'something' turns out to be a weed and what looks like a weed... Don't pull it yet!

  4. At least you have an excuse if you inherited your garden! I plant the things myself - and I'm still surprised! But, that's a good thing I think. I love being surprised like that.

  5. @TS: Too funny! I'm picturing that lone Allium among the rocks. The Crocuses seem to have gone from blonde to punk purple. :)

    @Donna: Ah, rabbits and squirrels! That just might be the answer. They are plentiful around here!

    @NellJean: Yes, the one I mentioned is a Tulip. The photo below it is the one I'm not sure about. I'll be curious to see if they bloom. Looks like the rabbits are taking little nibbles...

    @Holley: LOL. Yes, but I can't use that excuse in the sections I planted myself (and sometimes this happens to me in those spots, too). I agree -- I love the surprises!

  6. I love surprises... they make life more interesting don't you think?

  7. Such lovely crocuses. I am glad you have surprises like that in the garden, it is such fun!

  8. I can't ever "blame" previous owners for surprise bulb appearances because I know there weren't any when we arrived. But I do find I am often caught unawares when a load of bulbs I had thought dead and gone suddenly pop up. They usually don't flower, and this year they are appearing where I don't want them even if they do. They are going to be given a chance in a new home...

  9. I'm mostly surprised by what doesn't pop up! This year something tunneled thru my front bed and most of my tulips are gone as well as many crocus. I've never had that happened before. I like the white crocus ~ I had one lone bulb bloom in that color. I will have to add more this fall. It's good to see color in your garden ~ I'm sure you're thrilled too!

  10. Yess!!! This happens to me all the time, although like Plantaliscious I can't blame the previous owners, since we have been the *only* owners.

    This year I had minature daffodils show up...now I'm sure I would have remembered planting those...!

  11. Sometimes the surprises are the best part of the garden. Something randomly gets reseeded, moved or just plain pops up out of nowhere! Enjoy the fun -

  12. I love little spring bulbs, expecially the crocuses! Every early march here they announce spring. :)

  13. @Carolyn: Yes, garden surprises are the best!

    @Masha: Thanks! Sometimes these discoveries are so amazing, aren't they?

    @Janet: I am so glad the previous owners planted those surprises. And I am happy to leave that little garden plot undisturbed. It really is magical to not know what to expect from year to year!

    @Kathleen: We've had some tunneling going on, too. That is frustrating! But regarding the plants, so much is happening now it's hard to keep up (sounds like you're feeling that way, too).

    @Hanni: That's so interesting that you would mention unexpected Mini-Daffs, because that is one plant I planted myself and they come up reliably in the same place every year. Such sunny little cuties!

    @Kate: So true! And this time of year after the long winter it's so refreshing to see the surprises!

    @Dona: I love them, too. I keep meaning to plant more, but I get so lazy in the fall and I forget where others are planted. I should stick some markers in the earth to mark where they should go!

  14. Bought a large, over grown, urban "estate" bit more than a decade ago. Some of the "surprises" were American smoketree (5 of them), a Siberian bush pea, and a Nanking cherry all hidden in the over growth, now back on display.

  15. Phytophactor: Would love to see photos of them. Do you have them posted on your blog?

  16. i bet those stinker squirrels got your yellow crocus'
    Spring is so fun (on the warmer days he he) to go out & inspect what is appearing! My garden is just starting to awake- so exciting!

  17. @Gabrielle: Just catching up with some previous posts. I'll bet you're right about the squirrels--they're thick around here just like the rabbits. :)


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