Plant Variety Keeps Garden Interesting

It's hard to stay focused this time of year. Especially when there are tasks that you can't do yourself. But today, my minion-by-marriage dug up three good-sized shrubs so that I could plant two more shrubs in their place. Why did I want the three shrubs gone? In a word, "Meh." I'd grown tired of them.

I met a gardener who follows a self-written guideline: Plant For a Purpose. She gardens to feed pollinators and butterflies. If I had a guideline it would be Plant Variety. (I could say Plant Diversity, but I think the term is as overused as "sustainable.") I suppose you could say I have as much genetic variety as a United Nations luncheon.
Peonies from Asia and Europe contributed to
this hybrid, 'Coral Sunset'.

That variety surprised me the other day when a hummingbird stopped in for a nectar sweep over some tight peony buds. Who says the only flowers visited by hummingbirds are deep-throated bell-shaped affairs? With so many types of plants, there is something for every creature that happens by.

In addition to North America, I have Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia represented in bulbs, tubers, corms, tropicals, perennials, and woody plants packed cheek by jowl in my garden. I had to buy a few more big pots this year in order to fit the plants I've been accumulating in the past six months. I'd stored some of the pots in the mudroom between the house and the garage, where it was cool enough to send most of the bulbs into dormancy, including several Eucomis, or pineapple lilies.
Calibrachoa 'Tropical Sunrise' with
Eucomis 'Oakhurst'.

As for the cold winter ground, I apparently have a plant fairy trickster on the premises. I don't remember planting some of the bulbs that came up this spring. That includes an additional clutch of Ornithogalum nutans, or silver bells, which hail from Europe and Asia. I'd planted a few several years ago and they seemed to disappear a few at a time. A new spot was in order so I (or this fairy trickster) planted them in the raised bed near the sunroom windows.
Ornithogalum, Zephyrantes and Epimedium in a vase.

They look great in a vase, and made good companions for an exotic flower called Zephyranthes robusta also known as pink rain lily. This warm climate bulb is native to the southeastern U.S., Central and South America. A few bulbs of this little beauty came as a bonus with an order from Easy to Grow Bulbs. It's supposed to bloom in late summer, but got a little excited when I put it under lights in March.


  1. I love the analogy of a UN garden. Your garden looks fabulous and all get along beautifully. We should all get along so well. I too replace, move shrubs if they don't do what I want them to or if they just don't perform well. Gardens are always changing.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I guess we'll be digging til the end.