My spring garden is full of wonder and surprise. One year I was startled by the appearance of a diminutive red tulip, which grew right through the brown-stemmed skeleton of a withered ageratum. How did the tiny bulb get there? Its a mystery to me.
Equally puzzling are the single daffodils that suddenly unfurl hundreds of feet from the bulbs I planted. Daffodils naturalize, but do they also fly?
Perhaps a bird is the carrier. But only one intent on suicide would molest a toxic daffodil bulb; birds are, in fact, health freaks, sensible enough to prefer rose hips which contain 400 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges.
And that may explain the rosa rugosa which sprang from the middle of a thick mound of juniper on the north side of the house. An unlikely spot for a rose, so unlikely that I’m rather inclined to think its the work of a squirrel, the ultimate haphazard gardener.
To my amazement and delight, the garden plays host to a wide assortment of extraordinary volunteers, so I’m especially careful when I rake and weed because I never know what wonderful plants may magically appear. Like seedlings of my treasure , Prunus ‘Snow Fountain’.
Twenty years ago at the Philadelphia Flower Show I saw this luminous weeping cherry for the first time. I had to have her. Easier said than done. She was not labeled; she was not part of a sponsored exhibit; no one at the show knew who she was or to whom she belonged. Kidnapping crossed my mind but this angel’s 12-foot wide arching wingspan smothered in fragrant, snowy white blossoms was a tad much for the Metroliner.
What’s a crazed, lovesick, gardener to do? Hit the phones, of course. You know, six degrees of separation. It worked. She was identified and two months later she was mine. (Not the Philly goddess. A lovely, young New York model).
And we are living happily ever after. Snow Fountain is very healthy, blooms reliably and heavily every year, and flaunts dazzling Fall foliage in shades of burnt orange and red. When her flowers fade, she produces tiny ornamental fruit that songbirds love. And thus, the wonderful cherry tree seedlings which pop up in the garden every now and again.
Ain’t Mother Nature grand?