Several years ago, my aging neighbor across the street brought me some strawberry plants in a three-pound coffee can. He could grow anything, and they were overrunning his little area where they were planted. I was excited to grow strawberries in the front flower bed. They lasted a year and fed the birds. I was not a successful strawberry farmer.
But inside this coffee can lay the hidden roots of another plant that soon came up on its own. I showed it to the neighbor, and he said, “Oh those things are all over the place, I can’t get rid of them.”
I thought it was a Hosta. I had a few Hostas in my garden, some more successful than others, so I transplanted it to a shady area and fed it, watered it, and watched it grow. But it never spread as he said. I did a little research and found that some Hostas like shade and others prefer a little sun, so I moved it. It came back up the next year and did the same thing. It grew a little and then stopped. Maybe a little more sun.
Last fall I moved it closer to the front of the flower bed where the sun was stronger and again this year it popped up. My Hosta, an accidental gift from a neighbor, was still alive. The neighbor didn’t fare so well. He passed away. And though I couldn’t grow the strawberries he gave me; I could grow the Hosta.
Then it did a fabulous thing. It bloomed! And it wasn’t a Hosta at all but a Calla Lily! This is the third year I’ve had it and the first time it has bloomed.
When we went to South Africa, there were gardens of Calla Lilies outside out hotel. My daughter had Calla Lilies in her wedding bouquet. I’ve always loved them, but never grew any. Now, thanks to the generosity of a neighbor and an accidental planting, I’ll have some of my own.
Who knew I could grow a Calla Lily?
What are you reading this growing/week?