Over the last year I’ve been spending some time clearing out the area way down under the old lilacs to the south of the house. It’s absolutely full shade, so I’m dividing hostas and encouraging pachysandra and Brunnera to move on in. Earlier this spring I planted a little patch of lily of the valley under a maple tree, and two nights ago I took advantage of Bluestone Perennials’ half-off sale (through Sunday, 31 May, so hie thee to the nursery for some amazing deals) to order three Hosta “Gold Standard.” (And two grasses—Miscanthus sinensis “Zebrinus,” to which B has taken a fancy, and Panicum virgatum “Cloud Nine,” which has struck mine and doesn’t require full sun—but they’re for elsewhere.)
On Monday afternoon I was noodling around among the hostas and lilies of the valley and Lobelia cardinalis (which in bloom really does glow from the shade, I’m just saying), pulling weeds and mussing the leaf cover a bit, when I came face to face with broad, strappy leaves and a long stem. I followed the stem up and discovered the most beautiful allium blossom. I didn’t plant him; I didn’t notice him last year or before; I don’t know where he came from!
But I am very happy to welcome him to the shade garden.
I wonder if he and his leaves were there all along but only got the light they needed last year in order to send up a bloom this year. Just lovely. And a nice surprise.