Home Nature Close-ups The Reliably Unexpected Moments of Gardening

The Reliably Unexpected Moments of Gardening

The Reliably Unexpected Moments of Gardening

Soap root/Chlorogalum pomeridianum


Gardening is part planning, part serendipitous and 100% rewarding – in a pick yourself up by your boot straps sort of way. I love the reliably unexpected moments of discovery. Volunteers and new comers mixing up a planting plan, traveling pollinators and crops that sometimes fail but often succeed. My best plants, like best friends, best pets and best moments, seem to simply arrive right when I need them most. Even when I didn’t know I needed them.

This particular plant is the one I happened to find on a trail in the Marin Headlands. At the time, it was just a bulb – a soaproot bulb, Chlorogalum pomeridianum. I set it to the side of the trail and I remember thinking if it was still there when I came back through I’d give it a home and see what happens. Well, here it is. All grown up. And, while it’s not my showiest plant, it’s demure nature and panicle of flowers are elegant. It reminds me of the pacing and rhythm of natural landscapes. Not simply for the sake of habitat but for beauty. Creating landscapes requires attention to plantings that punctuate as well as plantings that are the unique fibers that weave together to make a lasting impression.


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