Sometimes, the best surprises are what the chipmunks dont steal.
Betsy Magners family planted 40 sunflower seeds this year to go around their house, and all but two were poached by the little critters. She sent in a photo of her 9-year-old son with one of the 11-foot-6-and-growing survivors with its massive trunk and sunny face.
Betsy calls it Gods blessing and it reminds me of all the little blessings that make gardening fun. The things we plan arent always better than the things that are a wee bit out of control.
At Dirt Cottage, the biggest, tallest, reddest tulip in the spring is a wild beauty that stands alone, smack dab in the middle of the grass. Planted by a squirrel, I presume.
Every year, I carefully mow around the lone plant until the leaves are all brown, and every year I consider digging it up and moving it to the front bed where all of the obedient bulb babies reside.
But who am I to find serendipity?
As odd as this gardening season has been, Im just going to go with the flow, enjoy the successes and ignore the flops.
If the normally stalwart pachysandra and ajuga groundcovers were a complete zero, the 3-foot garden phloxes were the best Ive ever had. The tomatoes are still producing, and the squirrels have been denting my car with what seems to be a bumper crops of acorns.
Next year will be better, and Ill keep saying that until it happens.
Send in that photo
Take a photo of your grandest garden mistake, favorite produce or prettiest posy.
Email your favorite photo as a JPEG attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include your name, the name of any person or pet in the photo, type of plant, and the community where you live.
Ill give them all a look and post one per person on The Journal Gazettes gardening blog, Were Digging It. Some of them might make it into The Dirt column.