Neglect is an interesting thing for a garden. Our yard, despite some occasional emergency help from friends, is basically on its own. We wished it well, told it we’d enjoyed our time caring for it but all good things must come to an end. It has bravely soldiered on without us which has led to an interesting landscape, but sometimes neglect also brings delightful little surprises.

When we first moved here there wasn’t much in the way of flowers in the yard. There was ivy and yucca near the house which we ended pulling out but probably should have left as nothing grows there. It’s our own little Bermuda triangle of plants. Oh, well. Live and learn, right? There were some random straggly bushes here and there, most of which we pulled out. There was a lone sedum and some simple hostas. We started making small beds, eventually combining them across the front of the yard. And as we did that we found that someone had certainly been a gardener here before. Given some clear space, old plants emerged. There were day lilies, more hostas, a ground cover I never remember the name of, lots of crocuses a few random tulips, and some surprise lilies.

Surprise lilies go by many names but I mostly know them as either surprise lilies or resurrection lilies. Oh, or naked ladies. I’ll stick with surprise lilies as that seems most appropriate. I didn’t care for them when they first showed up in our yard years ago. The foliage comes up in the spring and is lush and green, which is lovely. However, then it dies off and in late summer, SURPRISE: pale pink lilies on bare stems pop up. I didn’t like those bare stalks so I booted them from the yard.

Later I was sorry I had pulled them out. However lately every year one or two pop up and I’m happy to see them. The flowers always look startling springlike to me even though it means summer will be coming to an end. This year is the biggest bunch we’ve had in such a long time. Although it used to b I didn’t like those bare stalks, now the way they stand on those naked stems just makes them look determined and victorious. I’m so happy they are there.

Other pleasant surprises now that the garden is in charge of itself: my mullein returned and returned quite enthusiastically. Thanks to Kathleen Jones for that initial plant.

Ernie’s new selfie habit is making me VERY happy.

In other garden news, although it’s taken a while, AND a village, but we DO have zinnias. Yes, they are surrounded by weeds but they still look pretty damn great, don’t they?

I love how shy they look when they start unfolding their petals.

Onward. Stubbornly and determined, just like my surprise lilies.

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