Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Serendipity

The other day I was walking around the garden taking pictures of things I don't recognize. (No, not the bust of the Roman soldier - I remember buying that at a garage sale). This happens to me regularly. I blame it on the birds "dropping" seeds here and there. The bush above was quite a surprise. You can see it's rather large, about 4 feet tall, and I never noticed it before. Of course with the odd weather we've had I really haven't ventured into the back yard more than once or twice this spring, so it's had time to do what it wants.
Here's a close-up of the the bottlebrush-like flower cluster. It's sweet, don't you think? But I had no idea what the plant was. I figured I'd post it here and someone could tell me. I went to bed that night with the TV on. I had been watching HGTV when I fell asleep and the first thing I saw at 6AM was Erica Glasener on "A Gardener's Diary" pointing out a Virginia Sweetspire (itea virginica) that sure looked like my plant. Pretty odd, don't you think?


According to the USDA, this is a southern plant and it doesn't really grow in Colorado. But it looks to me like it could have sneaked in through the Oklahoma panhandle when no one was looking. Here's the USDA's dinky photo of Virginia Sweetspire. So what do you think? Is it the same plant or maybe it's another of those "false" ones? Or maybe it's just serendipity.

9 comments:

Carol said...

LostRoses...I'm not sure that is sweetspire, it looks more like a wild cherry, but that's generally a tree not a large shrub. Not much help, am I?

Mary said...

I can't verify it's name, but I like it! It must be a very fast grower since it wasn't there last fall. And yes, those birds do spread seeds quickly :o)

I'm ready to see more pleasant surprises in your garden, Lost Roses!

Annie in Austin said...

Betcha Carol has this one! There are bushy, multi-stemmed native cherries called Choke cherries, and one grows all over the Rockies. The photo looks pretty close.

If you're walking the lot you must be feeling better, LostRoses!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

rusty in miami said...

What ever it is the flower is beautiful, I say that’s a keeper and give thanks to our feather friends.

LostRoses said...

Well, I'll be darned, you guys are good! (Of course, I knew that.) Chokecherry. It never would have occurred to me, but you are right, Carol and Annie, it does look just like the picture too. I always hear people talking about chokecherries but obviously never knew what they looked like. No, it's not a tree yet, but considering the way I garden (I hate to prune), I'm sure it will be eventually. One website says "Mature trees such as those pictured, produce sufficient berries for many pies, quarts of jelly, and pounds of bear fat." Uhh, bear fat? Sounds like something I need to worry about.

Mary, there are many surprises in my garden, and they're usually a surprise to me too! The things that go on when I'm not looking...

Rusty, these are so widespread you might have these in your garden too, better take a close look!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Don't know what it is but it looks very pretty. Don't you just love little pressies from your garden like that?

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

In Iowa we have a trees with blooms like that that smell wonderful, the trees bloom right before out lilacs, I have always called the tree a black cherry tree, not sure who told me that, but it gets small hard black berries on it that the birds go crazy for in the fall, on a fall day you can always see multiple kinds of birds eating the "berries".

Kathy said...

Our wild cherries, which look like yours, are Prunus virginicus. The fruits are bird food, but I've never tried to make jelly out of them.

LostRoses said...

Kathy, I haven't made jelly in years but used to make grape jelly from the grapes in my mother-in-law's arbor. It was always delicious!