Spring Disorganization

It is spring, at least officially.

It may snow tomorrow, because why wouldn’t it? But after that, if one believes the forecasters (and we do, because otherwise we are adrift in an unkind and unknowable gardening cosmos) we shall be into spring-like weather at last.

It is this time of year when I realize that I’ve lost things in the garden.

Not the trowel. I always lose the trowel. Some future archaeologist is going to assume my garden was a hub of worship for the Trowel Cult. But plants that I could swear were right there…ish…have gone wandering, perhaps never to be found again.

My Jacob’s ladder, for example, has moved two feet to the left. I know that it has moved because the tag is jammed in the original location, and why the plant sees fit to have migrated toward the gate is a great mystery to me. I thought it was dead for a week, and then I turned around and there it was, merely misplaced.

The bloodroot has likewise relocated a foot to the right, and been replaced by some other plant of unknown provenance. I literally do not know what this odd, emerging set of shoots is. They are wrapped around a flower. I do not know what flower it is, or how it got there. It is pink. I am unsettled by this pinkness where pinkness should not be occurring. There are pink bloodroot, but this is not them.

My woodland iris is nowhere to be found. Iris crestata is an excellent plant, and it was excellent for me for some years and now presumably it is being excellent somewhere else. I could swear it was right there. But now it isn’t.

The trout lilies came up reliably. The trillium is in glory, with nine nodes on it. The trillium is perhaps my greatest gardening success, achieved by virtue of planting it a few years ago and then never touching it again. Other plants, which I actually pay attention to, do not fare nearly so well.

The Atlantic camas has sent up thick, glorious shoots. They cannot have sent them up in the middle of the path in the front yard, because that is some hundred and fifty feet away, which means that this thing in the middle of the path is something else. It is not wild onion. This has exhausted all my ID skills for things that send up single green stalks from the middle of paths. I may have to leave it there just to see what happens.

There are all kinds of ways that one can keep track of plants, most of which involve spreadsheets. There’s also the school of thought that if a plant is good enough to grow, you should know its name and Latin nom de plume and be able to pick it out a lineup. These people probably also send out Christmas cards on time and know where their extra lightbulbs are stored.

This year, I am experimenting with a website called myfolia.com which allows you to track all your plants, but first you have to know what they are, so I have spent weeks wandering around the garden taking photos of little plastic plant tags and then trying to remember when I planted them. So far I have recorded nearly 200 plants. This does not surprise me nearly as much as I wish it did.

Oh, well, it’ll sort itself out. Sooner or later I will learn what the mystery plant is, and my Iris cristata will reappear, or will be gone forever to whatever afterlife awaits small native irises. And everything will grow in and it won’t matter that something has wandered off to the left, or out of the garden entirely.

Such is spring.



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  1. says

    I’ll have to check out that site as I want to keep track of what plants I have. Problem is the wind and critters have moved the tags so I have plants and no tags. It will take all year to figure out what is what and where the heck it may be now. I am assessing the vole damage as they barrel through plants taking no prisoners and destroying plants in their wake.
    Donna Donabella recently posted..An Indicator in the Garden

  2. says

    Ursula, I find that the plants I neglect do the best in my garden ,too. I’m not entirely sure what that says about us as gardeners! We did a lot of transplanting in our garden last fall and as I wander around now I can’t remember what is where or, worse yet, why I chose to plant that plant in that location. I fear there is more transplanting in my future. Oh well, such is the exuberance of Spring!!
    Debbie recently posted..Book Preview ~ Beautifully Sustainable

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