I’m certainly not the only gardener who buys plants and then takes awhile to get around to planting them. Usually these neglected plants don’t do much in my yard, but 2019 brought several delightful surprises.
I had forgotten I even bought a pasque flower the year before, so when I rounded the corner to the backyard and saw this beauty, I gasped:
I bought two pots of blueflag iris at a spring sale, and each produced three gorgeous blooms:
A brand-new harebell:
This one was particularly embarrassing. I had bought these two pots in 2018. Not only were the tags weathered and unreadable, but I had not even the slightest memory of what they were — and they had been in that spot so long, roots had grown out the bottom, so the pots were stuck in the ground.
They turned out to be wild petunia:
And last but certainly not least, this dark blue stunner I didn’t see coming: bottle gentian.
A photo essay starting at the end and evolving backwards.
Clusters of berries that have been partially eaten, perhaps by birds that will spread the seeds to new areas:
Beautiful ripe berries:
Because there are berries, these two plants were female.
But get this: next year, both of these same plants will probably be male! Jack-in-the-pulpits change sex depending on how much energy they have stored. Producing berries takes a lot of energy, so usually the next year they’re male.
Family photo of four blooming jacks under their tall, umbrella-like leaves. I assume the two plants on the right are male, though I didn’t know to check while they were blooming. Next year I will look more closely!