An Alameda Garden: Mysteries of the Garden

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mysteries of the Garden

It's fascinating to me that in a garden as small and simple as mine, there are still inexplicable (to me, at least) phenomena occurring on a regular basis.

Mystery #1: What's with the delphiniums?

I planted these delphiniums from seed last summer (not realizing until very late in the game that they are biennials) and I've been waiting patiently to see those towering spikes of flowers that everyone raves about. Instead, this is what I'm getting:

Little bursts of a half-dozen or so flowerettes scattered all over the place, but no spikes. If anyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong, please advise!

Mystery #2: Have I gone color-blind?

I planted two kinds of dutch iris in January--pink and blue. So how is it that so far all of them look like this:

I see white. I see yellow. I see pale purple. No pink. No blue. Is my garden becoming one big eye exam?

Mystery #3: How come when the weather is good I don't have enough time to be out in the garden?

It was a gorgeous day today. But I've had to spend most of it in front of my computer catching up on work. I did sneak out for about 30 minutes this morning to water and then for another 30 minutes late this afternoon to pot up six of the Roma bean plants I'd started from seed, and get some more seeds going as well: cabbage, petunias, and catnip. The spinach and carrots I planted last week have already sprouted, as well as a few of the sweet peas and poppies. (I also discovered that in spite of pulling out hundreds of Four O'Clocks tubers last week, there are more than a dozen sprouting already--either I missed some of the tubers, or they're sprouting from seeds. Damn, those things are determined!)

And then there are some things that are no mystery at all--like a Martha Washington geranium in a pot with lots of sun will do its thing with no hassles whatsoever and put on a really great show:


  1. Hello. Gardenweb has a Name That Plant section--in case you want to post the pic of your 'delphiniums' to see what they are. I'm not familiar with what you have there but could be a cousin of the ones you want.

    re dutch iris: always frustrating when the promised colours do not deliver!

  2. I was going to say your delphs were incorrectly labeled.. Def. head over to name that plant and see what the guru's come up with.. They have helped me out a ton..

  3. love your post.I found a delphinium site for you.Its at

    They might not be getting enough sunshine.The dutch iris maybe they are reverting back to the original plant.My violas last year were like USA johnny jump up, the self seeded ones were purple faced with no trace of white and yellow.
    Keep on writing love reading your alameda garden.


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