Weekly pic: October week 1

This week a conundrum: where did the ixias (all four of them) growing in the lawn next to where I planted them come from? And why are they in flower before those in the carefully prepared bed?

Ixias in the lawn

After all they were planted as bulbs, and not so tiny that I can imagine them getting lost in the flat hard surface of a winter lawn; in fact I counted the bulbs as I planted them.  So are they the seed-offspring of earlier ixias? Unlikely, but not wholly impossible. (But where were they last year then?) Did birds or mice or even ants ‘move’ the bulbs from the bed? More probable. But they are growing just about exactly where I would have put down the net bulb-pocket…

And then: why are they in flower ahead of those in the bed? (Buds can be seen in the background, looking like ears of wheat.) After all, I dug over the ground and enriched it with compost. And they are growing in a rather neglected, compacted stretch of lawn that serves as a road, within centimeters of where car tyres pass. How DARE they flower before my carefully nurtured bulbs!! Aha. Because they were planted quite shallowly? In fact not planted at all, just cradled in the grass? Coming to think of it: when last did YOU see a plant burying its young? How we fuss and perform, nurture and measure… and along comes nature and does a nike. Just does it so much better than we can…

OK, I won’t argue. My garden is beautiful despite me, not because of me. At least not to spite me; nature is too generous for that!

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8 thoughts on “Weekly pic: October week 1

  1. Wrote today about my summer snowflake, which has also come up just inches from the car tyres and the Ungardener’s boots. Is now protected with 2 bricks!

  2. It took years for the tiny Ixias I planted to finally bloom. Now, they’re slowly naturalizing and I adore them! Your tale seems perfectly suited to the mysteries we encounter when gardening.
    btw, I’m still waiting for my Schizostylis to bloom, they were planted soooo long ago! Foliage comes back each year :~)

  3. I thought this post will touch a cord! Alice, Schizostylis actually grows wild in our area, and I’ve seen it wild on my farm, although those first ones could have been dispersed from the neighbour up the valley who until the ’70s grew indigenous bulbs commercially… today I have the ‘normal’ red and white as well as several pink shades scattered about the wilder parts of my garden – like the foot of the bridge across my dam.

  4. That’s interesting. So thats true “Plants are the strangest people”. You should be happy that they came up before you thought they would. We are planning to plant the bulbs of ixia and sparaxis in start November. They are south african native and well adopt to our climate. Yours are looking very beautiful indeed.

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