Friday, July 05, 2013

a garden of ignorance

I have a lot of interesting plants in my garden. Whether plunked there by me, or inherited, or discovered to be growing even though I don't recall bothering myself about them, the great variety of flowers and whatnot making a go of it is a source of fascination and wonderment to me for the simple fact of my own ignorance. I don't know what any of them are and I have no idea how to go about finding out and honestly I don't really have time anyway.

For example, all year long this strange tropical spiky thing sits there, it's lower element being run over and over by the car as it is driven in and out, candy wrappers blowing gently up from the road on garbage collection day to stick in its spikes. When you walk by, it reaches out and pricks you. But, for the end of the month of June, every year, it sends up these amazing spires and then bursts abundantly into bloom. It's so beautiful. I stand in my back garden and stare at it instead of weeding. And then, just as suddenly, the blooms give up and die and we return to our old discouragements.
Last year I bought these orange and yellow flowers in the clearance section of a garden shop. The tag had come out. They and the purple things--the deep purple not the light purple (probably weed?) growing behind it--I extravagantly purchased for a whole dollar. I had no idea they would come up again, but there they are, robust and bright as ever. 
This I carefully cut from its much larger parent growing out front. Someone (see, who needs a memory, you wouldn't remember if I told you) told me if I cut it low by the root, with some root still on, it would grow in another location. And it is! The large spotty leaved thing behind it was a present and the name of it was included as part of its being given, but I didn't write it down and so I have no idea what it is.
I could go on photographing nearly every plant but I think you get the idea. The thing is, what would be the point of my knowing? I wouldn't remember. Probably I wouldn't remember. And in this way, everything is such a happy surprise. 


lissla lissar said...

I'm pretty sure the spiky thing is yucca. Very spiky leaves, cream blossoms? The flowers are edible cooked and apparently taste like asparagus.

it's margaret said...

yeah --I'm pretty sure it's a yucca too. They grow wild here on the Plains.

Joyce Carlson said...

This is your mother speaking. In what way did I fail in bringing you up that you can't sleep until you know the names of things?
I'd say from this distance that you've got gaillardia grandiflora (blanket flowers) in the orange and yellow ones, and some kind of salvia in the purple--possibly mealy cup sage?

SometimesWise said...

The third picture (not the spotty one, but the spindly one) looks like a bit of a boxwood, which makes nice shrubbery. Very hardy and lovely (an the name is not so hard to remember!).

Ilse said...