Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Little Astrantia That Almost Wasn't

astrantia abbey road March 30, 2011  031
Astrantia 'Abbey Road'
It's nothing unusual to most gardeners, the need to snoop around in early spring, trying to spy the first spring of growth that signals a plant has made it through another winter to grace us, yet again, with it's presence. Sometimes, however, the well-intentioned gardener can unwittingly damage the plants they are fretting over. Such is the case with the above Astrantia.

The related Astrantia major emerged over a month ago...but I still hadn't seen any signs of the hybrid 'Abbey Road'. I waited. I watched. I cautiously pulled back some mulch in a few of the areas I was "pretty sure" I had planted them in. At one point, I even wandered to the top/back of the border (my front garden in on a slope) to check things out. Imagine my surprise, today, after I was looking again (and found signs of life in a few patches!!!) when I looked up and saw a sprout...right the middle of my muddy footprint. Yikes! I guess it's another good lesson that no matter how frail plants seem, they are tougher than we think...and have a will to survive even stronger than our need to control them :-)


  1. Isn't that just the worse feeling when you look down and realize you (or someone else) just stepped on something? One of the guys who came to get the Camellia stepped right on my little Pittosporum divaricatum from Cistus. All I could manage to get out was "off!" and I pointed at his foot. He must have thought I was a freak!

  2. Lucky you! I inadvertently knocked off two tiny peony buds when I was weeding last week - I only hope my damaged plant is as fortunate as yours.

  3. Glad it survived being stepped on. You are right though about most plants being tougher than we think. The main thing I'm guarding from being stepped on now are my Oriental lilies that are coming up. One year my dog and the neighbor cats broke off most of them while they played.

  4. Dear Scott, I am so glad your astrantia survived. I love masterwort - is this similar? It's a good thing my plants can take some of the damage I inadvertently inflict. P.

  5. I have done the same thing and it just frustrates me. I always call myself a dummy. LOL! Usually despite my heavy footsteps they survive despite me. Yours looks good so no harm done.

  6. Danger: and me both! I actually topped my all-time passive-aggressive plant protection threshold this week when, instead of tell a worker where the emerging plants were (a just-emerging Amsonia), I put a circle of 2-foot tall bamboo stakes around them. Last spring, when we had someone removing debris from our kitchen remodel, they stepped on a Monarda and I must have gasped audibly enough for him to jump back...and look at me like I was crazy.

    Cherry Lane: I'm crossing my fingers for you!

    Catherine: OMG...totally...that would make me so cross...especially things like lilies, which don't grow new blooming stalks...I protect mine zealously!

    Pam: It' is indeed Masterwort! I actually like calling it that more than Astrantia...Masterwort sounds so...Harry Potterish!

    Hocking Hills: just makes me feel so big and clumsy!

  7. Yeah I remember deadheading my only ellers variety of rudebeckia and pulling it out of the ground. whoops. frost nailed some coreopsis i uncovered from mulch. seems they dont like the frost.

  8. Thank god it did survive. Plants are hardy when compared to other creations, aren't they!

  9. I got help cleaning up the garden about three weeks ago. I'd been letting a viburnum I cut down six years ago grow, and it had gotten to about four feet.

    They cut it to the ground! So we start again.

    I sympathize.