Has this happened to you? I moved a plant from the garden to a pot last summer perhaps to divide it or to save a sprout for a friend. I was certain I would remember what’s in the pot, but winter happened and the green passed away. By the time spring arrived I could not identify the sprouts in that container.
Is it something I planted?
Might it be a volunteer that located there on its own?
Am I witnessing the start of yet another weed infestation?
Then there are the beds I reworked by adding and subtracting plants. Our gardens are fluid. We relocate and adjust annually to improve the presentation. It’s great exercise and offers an ideal opportunity to amend the soil and divide perennials. But as I wander in spring’s warm sunlight I have forgotten what plants I deposited where at the end of last season. Daily garden inspections are our norm as we marvel over the emerging plants and try to recall what’s coming up.
Sure. I know the solution to the unknown plant issue. Make a habit of installing labels in pots and beside each plant in the bed. Come spring I will be able to take inventory…unless the leaf blower or rake removes the tag.
Or I might add hand-drawn diagrams to my Garden Log book. You do keep one, don’t you? Mine is that dirt encrusted book in the shop where I keep gardening notes and flower bed treasure maps (when I remember to draw them). I uncovered that book last month to look for the name of a particular variety of salvia and found my last entry dated 2014. How slack is that? I must take better notes.
Should I garden under the cruel taskmaster of legalistic rules or simply enjoy the blessings of playing in the dirt? I’ll never outgrow the excitement of discovering sprouts in spring, the marvel of inspecting blooms in summer, or the accomplishment of gathering seed pods in the fall. Mystery plants add another dimension to the experience.
I sprinkled a few label ideas throughout this post. Think of these as Get Out of Jail Free cards for those moments when you cannot identify a plant. Insert a tag beside your mysterious sprout, enjoy a laugh, and wait to see how the plant progresses.
Above all, enjoy your garden. The garden has so many lessons to teach.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NASB