They came as a freebie with a garden order. A small paper bag, which contained what looked like oversized rabbit turds - though not as smooth. It said in small printing "Grecian Windflowers," whatever that was.
I had no idea where to plant them, so I planted them carelessly around the base of our newly planted dogwood. They cost me nothing, so they couldn't be that special - could they?
I was SO wrong. The following spring a small ring of purple daisy-like flowers appeared, and they increased every year. They were absolutely delightful, with dainty lacy cut leaves. I watched them open to the sun, and close as the clouds came in.
Now in about their sixth year, they have spread to about one foot wide circling the tree. The flowers last at least six weeks, and as a plant, they require no maintenance at all. What more could you ask for?
As a child, we had what would have potentially been a flower area against the house under the eaves on the north side of the house. I say potentially because it received no rain or moisture whatsoever and the soil quickly became dry and powdery.
But what did grow there - I'm sure from a self sown seed, was a wallflower (or erysimum). As a child, I was entranced by its sweet perfume and bright colour.
Wallflowers will thrive almost anywhere (as my illustration above suggests), and are a biennial, which means they bloom in their second year. Although some will then die, in our climate, they will often survive our winters and become what you could say a perennial.
They come in quite a few colours and are good seeds for you to start at home. You can sow the seed soon and plant them out in the early fall - they will bloom this time next year and you will not be disappointed.
I urge you to try either of these flowers for easy success. It is nice to look beyond the ever popular tulips and daffodils for spring colour.
The Richmond Garden Club's Plant Sale is coming up and they have changed the time and the venue, so take note. It's on Friday, May 11 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the South Arm United Church parking lot, at the corner of No. 3 Road and Steveston Highway.
This is a well attended event that promises great bargains for the gardener. It is a great location that has plenty of parking and is easy to find. See you there!
Deb Brodie is a local gardener and member of the Richmond Garden Club. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.