There are some reseeders that I count on seeing in my garden each year. For example, I love the smokey purple color of ruby mountain spinach, atriplex hortensis var. rubra, as well as the deep purple-green leaves and red flowers of 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth, seen here:
Some plants are known to be reseeders, but are hit-or-miss when it comes to making repeat appearances in my garden. For example, last year I found NO extra lyreleaf sage plants in the spring, but this year I have found a half-dozen seedlings of the salvia lyrata:
Last year, I had 4 or 5 volunteer sea kale, crambe maritima. This year, I only found one telltale set of light blue leaves coming up in an unexpected place. And as you can see, this baby sea kale did not choose a good site. It sprouted under the leaves of a Spanish foxglove, so I pulled it out after taking this picture:
Another plant whose volunteers don't always pick the best spots is Russian sage. I probably have, oh, a dozen Russian sage babies popping up around the garden... but since the plants get upwards of 3ft tall and are pretty bushy, too, they never have room to grow where they plant themselves. For example, this little seedling had to be removed from its bed of ajuga, before it started to crowd the nearby peach tree:
In previous years, I've had a few snapdragons flat out overwinter in my garden, and I've also had some good reseeding. The only problem with snaps reseeding is that you can end up with a few different colors. For example, last year I planted snapdragons that stayed very short and were almost completely bright red. This seedling looks a lot like last year's snapdragons but with a yellow throat and almost painterly touches of gold:
But how to explain this pure white beauty? She looks nothing like last year's snapdragons!
Now we get to confession time: I confess that I am horrendously behind in regards to weeding and mulching my garden. There is way more bare earth than I'd like to see--and what isn't bare earth is unfortunately pretty weedy. With working two jobs and having to paint the fence I have fallen behind on a few things... but am working my way toward catching up. On the flip side, I'm betting that if I had mulched on time, I would probably not have been gifted with this pretty coleus seedling:
That's it (for now) for the reseeders... but I do have a couple of other surprises in my garden today. Last summer, I was gifted with some short (less than 3ft tall) oriental lily hybrids from a display garden that was being disassembled. They have all the fragrance of the Stargazers they resemble--it wafts up to my 2nd floor bedroom window at night--but stay short and need no staking.
One of the three clumps had a small, thin, weak-looking stalk come up at the edge. I thought it was probably just another, younger "bulblet," (Elizabeth and all you other lily experts out there--is that the right term?) but today it bloomed in a very different color:
It's pretty, with wavy petals that are recurved, but it is not particularly fragrant. If it had a great scent, I'd be asking how to move and "save" it, but as it is I think that I will just leave it be... if it comes back again next year, that will be fun. But if not, it won't be any great loss.
To end on a good note, the last surprise is a very welcome one. Last year, I grew three different gladiolus (gladioli?)... a beautiful deep red one, the horrendously ostentatious orange-and-yellow one, and a green one that was promptly pulled out before any pictures could record its sickly color. I forgot to dig up the bulbs of 'Espresso,' the red glad, so I was very excited to see a few of them come back and bloom again this year, albeit horizontally because I forgot to stake them:
Maybe this will be the year that I finally remember to dig up and overwinter the glads? Probably not... but IMHO gardeners are optimists, and one can always hope, right?! :)