Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

And the award for most random weed goes to...

I've had a lot of fun looking at the positive aspects of various weeds, or volunteers, this summer, learning to accept them as assets rather than pests. I've had some unexpected volunteers, like Zeltnera muehlenbergii and Nigella damascena. I really was surprised by these plants coming up. The Zeltnera had tried to grow several years ago, but was pulled before it had a chance to bloom. Somehow, it managed to seed in again from some unknown wild population nearby. The Nigella, though I have no memory of doing so, must have come from seeds that I scattered about last summer.

As an aside: I discovered that the Zeltnera will rebloom if it gets a good summer thunderstorm, or a soaking from a hose, after the first bloom. It began forming a second wave of buds before I harvested the first round to collect the seed. The second flush has been continuing for almost two months now.

However, one volunteer has trumped them all for sheer stupefaction factor. I know exactly where this one came from, seeds I ordered from Silverhill Seeds last summer. I even remember having a few left last summer that hadn't germinated. I just have no idea how on earth one of those seeds found its way down to the vegetable garden (a considerable distance on a 5-acre property) to emerge from a patch of basil as a Melianthus villosus seedling in September. Actually, judging by the size, it may have come up some time in August.

Ah, blurry phone photography, gotta love it.

So there you have it, the most surprising, random volunteer in my garden for this year. Yes, I know the year isn't over yet, but I just can't see anything topping this.

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Indeed. A case of, "who dumped that pot of old soil in the vegetable bed," most likely.

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  2. The Zeltnera looks like a cute little weed. I got seeds for Nigella from my in-laws when we moved up here 22 years ago, and I'm always surprised to see it coming up unaided every spring and blooming with those marvelous flowers.


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    1. I'm not a fan of pink, but the Zeltnera was a nice surprise native. I always enjoy seeing a new native plant come into my parents' relatively diversity-poor property. I'm a sucker for blue, so the Nigella is most welcome, native or not.

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  3. The movement of most of the weeds in my garden (Geranium incanum, Centranthus ruber, Erigeron karvinskianus) remains a mystery to me too. However, the blasted Albizia julibrissin seedpods float with the wind anywhere they like.

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    1. I'm sure someone either dumped the pot of soil the seeds were in into the vegetable garden, or used the soil to start the basil seeds.

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  4. If something unexplainable happens around here I blame it on the squirrels, unless it's really bad and then it's the neighbor's cat.

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    1. Well, this is good, so I'll blame the poor, innocent little Douglas squirrels. They're pretty benign, unlike the grey squirrels in the city. It was probably someone dumping the pot of soil with the un-germinated seeds into the garden bed, though.

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