Today’s Garden Surprises

Shortly after I moved here, a neighbor let me transplant a bit of her far-ranging prickly pear cactus. I might not have been interested if I hadn’t just spent several years in the high desert of California. I’d often encountered such plants when I wandered in that rather tame wilderness, and her plant seemed to bridge some sort of mental or geographical gap in my psyche.

The prickly pear never really did well — most of the paddles gradually died, but there was no way I was going to touch that thing to remove it. It all but maimed me when I dug it up and replanted it that I didn’t want to ever do anything with it again. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Those prickles really hurt. Even wearing heavy work gloves didn’t keep my hands safe from all the pricks.

Last year I noticed a bit of green, and this year, although the dead paddles are still lying on the ground to remind me of less sublime times, the prickly pear is doing well. And look!

It bloomed for me!

That wasn’t the only surprise today. The rock roses seem to be taking hold.

The snapdragons are really going strong. Such pretty candy colors!

The calibrachoa flowers I’d planted in a hanging basket are also going strong.

And more hollyhock blossoms are peeping out at me.

It’s funny to think of myself as a gardener. I was one of those people who were seemingly born with a brown thumb — I couldn’t keep even the simplest plant alive. And now, so many flowering plants adorn my yard that it amazes even me.

Admittedly, most of the yard is dirt and weeds, and even the garden spots are rather sparse, though if you just see my photos rather than the yard itself, you’d think I have a lush yard. Maybe someday I will, but for now, I’m thrilled with any bits of life and color that manage to survive my inept care.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

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7 Responses to “Today’s Garden Surprises”

  1. Uthayanan Says:

    Beautiful flowers. The snapdragons are really Fantastic. if you do gardening as fun with good soil, caring you will get plenty surprises. You can print like postcards and send to people if you still like sending postcards. Enjoy yourself.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Making postcards sounds like fun. The odd thing about this soil is that I’m not sure it’s all that good — it’s alkaline clay — but apparently the plants I get locally do well in it.

      • Uthayanan Says:

        The color of the leaves and the flowers tell me your soil is not bad. Please before sow your seeds prepare to turnover your soil and put some compost you will get better result.

        • Uthayanan Says:

          I have programmed my telephone to tell me exactly the time and temperature for Paris, Lyon, Tokyo, and Denver Colorado (approximately) to have an idea. Now the temperature 12-1 am is 34 degree ! At Denver

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          Next year, for sure! I’m through planting this year.

          • Uthayanan Says:

            Of course in centigrade in France it is difficult to understand. Fahrenheit and miles. 94 Fahrenheit is already hot for me. I love flowers but with the grief still strong I feel very weak to stand with the hot summer.

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