Monday, April 26, 2010

The surprises of the dirt in springtime.

It's so fun the first time i go dig in the backyard dirt. i glance at the flower beds and wonder, " many things have i not planted that are now growing?"

 Yes! The purple lantana! This was definitely the outcome of purposeful planting.

 But this? It looks healthy, but no, i don't remember planting it.

This is a decorative lavender, not the tea-making kind, but i did plant this--

but no, not this huge fall of ivy. It's a volunteer from the back neighbor's yard. At least it's pretty.

 Quite purposeful planting! This is a California native--the Carmel Creeper plant. Lovely blossoms, and it comes in two different types: the upright and the ground cover.  This one is the upright, i think. But yes, most purposefully planted.

This one, up close and personal with the Carmel Creeper? Don't know what this is--but i know i didn't plant it. And there are lots of these sprinkled around ...hmmm... well, it's kind of pretty.

 i really love this one! i can't remember what it's called, but it grows beautiful little blossoms. Purposeful little blossoms. And then-- 

my sweet geraniums with their cute little pink and white faces, purchased at the Half Moon Bay Nursery. i love geraniums, they just grow and grow, even when i plant them.

 But again with this one? Why? And scattered along the whole bed! Volunteer soldiers, standing up so straight and proud, ready to overthrow my plants.

 And i think i'm quite happy with this, because i'm fairly sure i did plant it, and it's a lilac bush that started out a teensy-tiny thing a few years ago. When it blooms i'll know if i'm right.

 But this??? OH it's the bane of my existence--oxalis. Impossible to kill, it covers every available dirt spot on our property after the first rains. At least the yellow flowers are pretty for a time.

 This is lovely--and it fits both the volunteer and purposeful status in my yard. When i planted it against the back fence it was a bulb i had dug up from the yard, and i thought it was a white calla lily. BUT! turns out it was a volunteer bulb with glorious orange flowers, and its bloomed twice this year already.

 And here is where i THOUGHT i dug out all the bulbs of that orange flower! Happy to volunteer. And i still don't know where they came from.

Here's an especially healthy volunteer Mongo dandelion. Some of the non-purposeful plants are the biggest thrivers. One more:

 Did i plant this? No. But it grows over the fence from the neighbor's yard, the hummingbirds love it, so i do too. Plus it's red. i love red.

With all the emphasis on nature and all things "green" the question arises: should i disturb the volunteer plants in the garden-y, forest-floor-y dirt? Apparently not--

If i do? The ants get all crazy and start running around with their little eggs

 and the bees get all buzzy around my head. And there was a snake--i swear there was a snake! And who am i to bother them, after all they are just doing garden-y, forest-floor-y things, and who am i to distract them from their content creeping, crawling, buzzing little lives? 

Especially the snake. i really want the snake to be happy. And i want all the livestock of nature to leave me alone.

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