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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mystery Seedlings

Mystery Seedlings
I was home for lunch this afternoon and was poking around the garden, trying to see what was coming up so far...and what hadn't come up yet so I could get busy fretting about them (I'm an Olympic-level fretter). While poking around the Astrantias I noticed a few little seedlings coming up in a few patches.

more mystery seedlings
Actually, A LOT of little seedlings! At first, I blamed the poor Japanese Anemone that sits nearby (but not for long...it's already starting to encroach into other plants' crowns...time for it to move). After looking a little closer, however, I think they are probably Astrantia seedlings.

astrantia seed heads
How did I deduce such a thing...this is how...the empty seed heads that were nearby. I suddenly remembered tossing them into the garden after cutting them back last Autumn. OOPS! I know they have a reputation for seeding about...I just didn't really think much of it. I'll have to wait until they get their first pair of true leaves to really be able to identify them...but I'm fairly certain they are Astrantias.

astrantia
I'm actually kind of excited...there are three different varieties of Astrantia planted in this spot, 'Alba', 'Roma' and 'Abbey Road', so who knows what these new plants will look like. Astrantias are notoriously promiscuous...a Scarlet Letter plant if ever there was one. If they are, they I will have new plants to fill in some of my problem areas (so much heavy, wet clay to deal with here on Rhone Street). Plus, I might even have a few for a future plant swap!

Do any of you have any "surprises" in the garden this spring so far?

42 comments:

  1. No mystery plants but I have been pullng some weeds to keep on top of things and my daylilies are a couple of inches out of the ground already-way early this season. I am so anxious for spring with so many gardening ideas going wild in my head!

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    1. Me too, Lee...isn't it exciting...you never know what new thing will have popped up overnight!

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  2. Think I have a Foxglove across the path from another Foxglove....maybe? There are some seedlings that look familiar, so until I know who they are, I leave them.

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    1. I love Foxgloves...but have never had luck with them, for some reaason. I'm with you...I'm generally awful at identifying new seedings until they have their first real leaves...so I err on the side of caution.

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  3. You should tell the Astrantia to keep an aspirin between their knees (ba dum, swish!). I definitely have some mysteries coming up . . . I'm hoping they are Dodecatheon but they are probably run of the mill weeds.

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    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...for realz! It's always a crap-shoot, isn't it...I've spent months babying things I was SURE were precious new perennials, only to realize they were totally just weeds...BAH!

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  4. It is always exciting when you find unexpected seedlings. Even better if they turn out to be a plant you love.

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    1. Totally...just like your little surprise Echeverias, right!

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  5. Such a lovely surprise. I think I've seen what appear to be a few gaura seedlings, and the plants seem to have survived their first winter too, so fingers crossed they will be gracing the border again this year without much interference for me.

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    1. OMG...that would be fabulous...Gauras are so stunning, especially en masse!

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  6. I always have loads of these astrantia seedlings (so far they all look very similar to the parents)and verbena bonariensis which do a great job in filling some gaps.

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    1. Good to know...I really didn't expect them to see in that area...it's such awful, heavy clay! I have TONS of those Verbena seedlings too...but I love them...and you're absolutely right, they are so useful for filling in the blank spots...and how can you not love those blooms!

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  7. Thanks for sharing. What perfect little treasures you have there!

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  8. I think that would be wonderful if they were astrantia seedlings! My Japanese Anemones never spread by seeds but they sure spread by roots. I pulled so many up last year and planted some in the woodland bed. I would love to see my astrantia seed.I love your Roma Scott. That one goes on my list.

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    1. I hope you can find some of 'Roma', they are the MOST amazing color! Yeah, I believe you on the Anemone...I can't believe how many shoots I'm finding...all over!

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  9. Hi Scott,

    I wish mine would seed but just my luck - I choose a variety that is sterile! hahaha. Typical. My others I bought haven't done well at all, so I'm rather disappointed and would welcome plenty of seedling!
    (btw, 'Roma' is sterile, I'm guessing it's Astrantia major roma anyway)

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    1. Oh no! Then again, it may be a mixed blessing...I could end up cursing them before long...I found even more this weekend!

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  10. Well, the photos of astrantia are beautiful! If they are easy to pull out I think its worth letting them spread around their cheer a bit. Although, I can't seem to remember having grown this plant before....my plant memory bank is not what it used to be! At least you have seedlings sprouting, yesterday we had snow growing!

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    1. I think the'll probably be pretty easy to pull out, especially now when they are so tiny...and I kind of like not knowing what they'll look like when they bloom...we all need a little mystery in our gardens, right ;-) Oh my...I'll take seedlings over snow any day!

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  11. The number one baby daddy in my garden is my 'David' phlox. He's left his seedlings in almost every bed. Apparently, the girls don't mind sharing. ;o)

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    1. Oh wow..your plants are somewhat indiscriminate, it seems ;-)

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  12. I can't wait to be at the stage where I have mystery seedlings! Oh good luck getting rid of that Japanese anemone. Once you plant one someplace it pretty much will live there forever no matter how many times you thought you dug it up.

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    1. Indeed, Kaveh! I should have known better with the Anemone...but they are so pretty...I'm going to shove it in a dark corner where nothing else grows and see if that teaches it a lesson ;-)

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  13. Till now I only had disappointing surprises but your astrantia seedlings sound really like amazing news! I love astrantias but I haven't been very lucky with them. I bought a couple bare roots this year, let's see what happens.
    Love your new header image, looks so alice-in-wonderlanesque!

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    1. Thanks, Alberto! Well....I don't know for certain they are Astrantia yet...they could still be a horrible weed! If it makes you feel better I noticed some of my Agastache have Downy Mildew...booo!

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  14. Those Astrantias are such lovely flowers and so photogenic. Your pictures are just exquisite.

    Hopefully they are astrantias, that would be a good surprise!

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    1. You know, I think I honestly bought them BECAUSE I just wanted to be able to take lots of pictures of them!!! I'm lucky they are actually a good fit for the site!

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  15. Beautiful Astrantias, lovely surprises indeed! The only surprise we in Southern Finland have in our gardens right now is snow: there's still more than 70 centimeters (28 inches) of snow out there :/

    Luckily, thanks to powerful sun, it takes only few weeks to melt the white and I'll be able to take a growth check walk in the yard soon. I hope to witness as wonderful surprises as you've seen. If only I could wait...

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    1. OUCH! OMG...I can barely remember what having that much snow is like! I hope the remainder of the winter goes by quickly so you can enjoy spring soon!

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  16. Those Astrantias have captured my interest from your previous posts, too. They're lovely! No blooms here, yet, and then we got 5 inches of snow yesterday. But I did notice new shoots of Hollyhocks the other day, believe it or not. I'm so ready for spring!

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    1. Woohooo! Oh yeah...any sign of life is such a cause for celebration, isn't it!

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  17. It is very gratifying discovering free baby plants (and good detective work by the way!). I've got lots of aquilegia seedlings (who hasn't?) and several giant mullein, which I'm pleased about. Last year was mild enough for cosmos and nicotiana to grow from self sown seed - hoping for a repeat. Dave

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    1. That's so true! I'm jealous of your Aquilegia...mine have never seemed to geminate, even though I leave the seed pods on for quite a while (I even shake them around the garden). I used to have a few Cosmos that would reseed every year...it was always fun to see where they would choose to come up :-)

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  18. Hello there Scott ! Yes ... these non-climbing clematis are really amazing aren't they ? .. this will be my first one and I can't wait to see how it does in my garden. I really have to try astrantia again .. I had one and it seemed to have disappeared .. with what our winter has been like with next to no snow .. I am afraid a few other plants are going to disappear as well !
    Thanks for stopping by !
    Joy
    PS ... one year I had portulaca self seed and I was shocked by the little devils doing that ! LOL

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    1. I just love those Clematis...so beautiful! We are the same here...almost no winter, makes me really wonder what the effect on the plants will be. Some plants that are usually up by now are not showing at all...eek!

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  19. Scott, one of the biggest joys of gardening for me is seeing little things sprouting up and waiting to see what they are!

    It will be a while before I see any green still though.

    Cheers! Diane

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    1. Indeed...so much fun, isn't it! I'll keep my fingers crossed for spring to show up sooner, rather than later for you ;-)

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  20. Let's HOPE those seedlings are Astrantia and not Bittercress! LOL Actually, at first glance they reminded me of Centranthus. Do you have it growing in your gardens and if so did you let it go to seed?

    I don't have 'Roma' Astrantia. I sure like that pink color. I might need to be on the lookout for it.

    Keep us posted.

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    1. OMG Grace...bite your tongue!!! I have enough of that already!!! Hahahahaha...seriously, though, I must pull up a dozen plants ever time I step out the door...but there are ten times that when I turn around! You would LOVE 'Roma', I actually found mine at the Oregon Garden in Silverton last summer!

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  21. I would be thrilled to have astrantias coming up in my garden. I first saw those delightful flowers at Joy Creek last summer and fell in love. I never see them in Austin, so probably they would not like our heat or drought. Enjoy them for me!

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  22. I think I am a pretty good fretter, too. I hope your mystery seedlings are astranias. I wonder if I will have wild columbines come up from last year's seeds. I think I saw one today in a different flower bed. I may have to move it to my front yard bed.

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