While I’m not always — maybe, not ever — pleased with the big picture in my garden, there are tiny moments of beauty that surprise and delight me. Lately, more of those moments have occurred as spring is fading toward summer and more plants are blooming and growing. With the good weather we’ve had this past week — unlike friends and family in the Twin Cities, we had a decent shot of rain Sunday night — finding and appreciating those surprises has been pure joy.
Take, for instance, the bloom in the photo above. Last year, I bought a peony at the Dakota County Master Gardeners plant sale in May. Since peonies are best planted in the fall and I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to plant the peony, I put it in a big pot to hold it through the summer. For fun, I added some petunias and a vinca vine. When fall came, the roots were all entwined, so I just put the entire root ball — peony, petunias, and vinca — in the ground. Lo and behold, when the peony came up this spring, the vinca came with it and the vinca is now blooming.
This variegated plant appears to be a type of Vinca minor or common periwinkle. While it can be invasive in some parts of the country, it seems to be OK for Minnesota. The U of M even recommends it in its Best Plants for 30 Tough Sites book. In any case, discovering the flower — hiding under the peony foliage — provided a wake-up-and-look-around moment for me last week. And, we all need more moments like that.