Garden Surprises!

Native Flowering Ginger

Native Flowering Ginger–DHPitts

I’m surprised every spring when our flower beds burst with color. Hidden by fall leaves and wintry decay, the garden sleeps. An unspoken command is whispered through the earth, “Quit hiding!”

Garden surprises are on their way.

First, the Sword, Holly, and Japanese-Painted ferns unfurl tender green shoots. Then, the native ginger plants show up in the garden—long leafy stalks followed by a trumpeting lily. There is a surprise in the lily’s color progression. An unadorned stalk, deep mauve bud, a pop of pink, and finally a milky white funnel.


Old Fashioned—DHPitts

Southern gardens aren’t complete without roses, roses, roses!

In our yard, we are fortunate enough to have five rose variations, each a century old. My grandparents’ country homes boasted old fashioned roses, untouched by gardeners eager to make hybrids. These roses climb, spread, or bush.
My friends and I are very scientific. Master gardeners, of course. One rose looks like a bush of lilac butterflies taking flight. A friend, who lives on Georgia Street in downtown Mobile, gave me a cutting. So, I call it The Georgia Street Rose. (Told you we were scientific out here in the country.) A rose by any other name .

Hmmm. What else is lurking, I mean growing, in my yard?

One of my favorite spring and summer treats is the Asiatic Jasmine covering the side of our yard (and sometimes air conditioners). There’s only one problem. The ground cover is more than prolific. The Jasmine must be cousin to the alien life form from the movie The Blob. It has a life all its own.



Asiatic Jasmine—DHPitts

My husband sighs and our sons hide when I start pointing to piles of Jasmine rising between the trees and skirting the side of our house. “Can’t you just trim it?”



If you walk with me to the back of the yard, native plants are hiding in an alcove–a clump of French Mulberry, some holly, and a favorite spiderwort nicknamed Wandering Jew. One day there are few plants. Then, a few days later it appears an explosion sprayed tons of mulberry, holly, and spiderworts in the alcove. Even to the untrained eye, a visual delight of textures abound.



My friend Sandi Herron’s blog, Life at Spring Meadows, gives the visitor wonderful garden surprises. How-to’s on gardening, backroad traveling adventures (to see other yards and places), and tablescapes (when you use things from a yard to spruce up your eating area . . .sort of). Sandi’s prolific, but not like the alien life form from the 50s.

I’ve had a good time talking with you. The coffee pot is usually on. Come by and we can walk around my yard.

Garden surprises are okay, and I promise—no attacking blobs, unless it’s the Asiatic Jasmine.

1 Comment
  • Sandi Herron
    July 10, 2015

    I enjoyed visiting with you in your yard by way of your article. I could almost smell the fragrant Asiatic jasmine! The surprises we find in our gardens, the flowers that bloom, are some of the ways we experience the beauty of God each day!

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