What grows in the garden

Moving into a new house has given us a mystery: what’s in the garden?


The previous occupants were gardeners. They landscaped the property and were able to tell me in detail of all the different trees, shrubberies, and flowers they had all over the place. (And the vines, oh heaven help me, the vines…)  I remember none of it. None. I’m the kind of person who kills plastic plants just by standing nearby.

This is our first spring in the house, and I’m stunned by the riot of flowers that’s exploding out of the dormant plants. We saw them at the end of the summer, when heat had wilted them and the early bloomers had faded into green. But here we are, now, surrounded by the smells and sights of flowers at their prime.

And sounds. I bet you didn’t know flowers sounded like something. Well, they do. There’s an ornamental weeping something out in front of our house. It has white flowers. The entire thing hums. The nearer you get, the more you can hear the hum. Why, you ask? Why does my tree hum? Because of the hundreds of bees that are in the flowers gorging themselves senseless.


I think it may be an ornamental cherry, but someone told me it’s an ornamental crab apple tree. It produced no fruit whatsoever last year, so I’m happy thinking it’s an ornamental bee tree. As if I’d know the difference.

Bulbs shot up. No crocuses, which makes me sad, but daffodils. And…something. I thought at first they were tulips, but they opened into a dozen tiny flowers all in a bunch. I have no clue what they are.

The first flowers of the spring, though? Tiny flowers the size of a pin head that came up between the bricks on our walkway, on stems the size of a hair. We still had snow on the ground, but this tiny white beauty put up its head in early March. 


I planted none of this. I just get to enjoy it.

And here I am, realizing at the same time, I don’t know what skills and talents God planted in my children’s souls, whom they’ll become. I didn’t plant it. I do get to nurture it, but I can’t turn a cherry tree into a forsythia bush.

It’s the same with my own soul, to be honest. I didn’t know at the start what skills or talents God was going to give me, what opportunities, what challenges, what graces, what gifts. Yet here I am, reaping the blossoms of bushes I didn’t plant, fruit from trees I didn’t plant.

It’s humbling: none of this is mine. I did none of the gardening, and yet I’m thriving on the blossoms.



  1. Deb

    I don’t know how you do it. You take an observation and turn it into something so profound…I’ll never think of gardening the same way again.

  2. Ken Rolph

    My first thought on the plant at the top would be hydrangea. Your multiple bulb flowers could be freesias.

    Assuming, of course, that they have regular plants up there in the antipodes.

  3. Wendy

    Oooo, pretty bee tree… I can’t identify any of the plants you described, but they’re gorgeous.