Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bad Gardener

Earlier this summer, I happened to pick up some flowers in hopes of adding color to our back yard (aka the dirt patch). One combination I thought was quite fetching was a pair of young dahlias in striking shades of red and white. I planted them together in a single pot, and, for a time, enjoyed the two different colors of flowers and their fresh green foliage.

Not long ago, I happened to be sitting in the yard when it occurred to me that the pot of dahlias looked different somehow. It was still beautiful and full of blossoms, but now they were all red. Now some kinds of plants can change the colors of their flowers based on soil conditions and other factors. However, I'd never heard of dahlias being able to make a change. I pondered the question several times as I watered the garden over the next few days, but the color change remained a mystery.

Finally, one day last week, I found my answer. While bending in to pinch off wilted blooms, I noticed the skeleton of one plant all but eclipsed by the first. It seems that the white plant died without my even noticing, and then the red grew in to fill the space. This is how observant a gardener I am! This could be why our garden always looks sort of scraggly and under-loved. Ah well, at least I didn't kill them both.

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