Give Now  »

wfiu logo
WFIU Public Radio

wtiu logo
WTIU Public Television

Choose which station to support!

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Noon Edition

Serendipity and Design

Spring bulbs come up pretty much where we have planted them, as long as the rodents don't eat them. So our spring gardens don't owe quite so much to serendipity as our summer gardens do.

No matter how carefully we plan for our peak summer display, nature always has some surprises in store for us. Nature is a capricious designer so she does unexpected things in our gardens.

Garden Surprises

She is also lavish, and while we may plant, for example, one bee balm and one black eyed susan, soon we will have dozens.

Birds take seeds all around our gardens so that Nicotinas will pop up in unexpected places, so will crabapple trees, viburnum bushes, cleomes and goldenrod to name a few.

Color combinations may occur when plants pop up unexpectedly. I love color in my garden so I usually leave any volunteers until they have bloomed.

Making A Compromise With Mother Nature

The price one pays for this indulgence is that once something flowers it usually self seeds. Before long the garden's original design becomes blurred as plants of many sizes and shapes crowd together.

It may be a blaze of color but the original concept of form, shape and symmetry is modified. The extent which we accept serendipity in our own gardens depends on us.

We may decide to live with nature's interventions or try to control them. Most of us compromise depending on our time schedule and tolerance for changes in our own design.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Focus on Flowers