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Today Morgan K. Wyatt is visiting A Writer’s Garden talking about serendipity in her garden. I understand that, especially this year with all the rain we’ve had. I have tons of flowers that I didn’t plant popping up everywhere among the weeds. Can’t wait to see your serendipity, Morgan. Welcome!

Thanks, Catherine.

All winter long I dream of gardening, especially when it snows. In my dreams, everything goes right. Reality is an entirely different matter. Each year, I learn something different. Travel, weather, and online seeds challenged me this year.

Yes, I do use seeds for my annuals and some vegetables. My first mistake was ordering seeds online. I ordered dozens of seeds through a well-known company that starts with an A. Seeds are in general tiny and some of my tiny packages never showed. Other showed up late into the season, I still planted them. Still, others showed up in unlabeled plastic bags. Most did not germinate. It may have been the torrential rains that started in February and haven’t let up. It also could have been that items coming from abroad are often irradiated to kill harmful toxins and bacteria that could be traveling with them. This process started after the anthrax scare.

It became obvious that all my sunflower seeds were not growing, but something amazing happened. I usually keep four bird feeders filled with sunflower seeds and the birds were dropping seeds everywhere with the result being that sunflowers popped up. The cheap bird feed sunflower seed provided great flowers.

Travel chewed into my gardening plans too. In particular, I had to decide between going on a writers’ retreat or attending the annual master gardener sale where I usually buy a trunk load of plants. The writer retreat won out and I missed getting native plants. I resorted to buying plants at the chain gardening and home repair stores. I especially took all the plants that were placed on the clearance bin. Most did fairly well, although they all had to deal with constant rain and standing water. The winners in the weather category was the vegetables, wild flowers and elephant leaf bulbs.

Every year I also have a wild life visitor who appears to like my gardens as much as I do. Last year, it was a vole colony that I finally chased away with garlic. This year it is toads. They especially like the lemon balm bush that they hide underneath. Most gardeners try to attract toads to deal with insects. My secret is the marshy area of the yard that has never dried out due to the weather. The swampy bottom of our yard has also attracted blue dragon flies, which is always a plus too.

Every year teaches me something different. Be careful when planning trips around the prime growing season. Epsom salts can help any struggling plants. Make sure to use seeds that come from a reputable company within your country. Take a chance on discounted flowers and bulbs. Be on the lookout for new friends in the garden.

Make sure you get outside before the weather turns cold.

About the Gardener/Writer

Plants are both a mystery and a blessing. I can’t imagine what the world would be like without them, but when I’m not digging, weeding, or picking produce, I work in some writing. This summer I’ve released two cozy mysteries, Caribbean Catastrophe, which takes place on a cruise line, and A Bark in the Night, which takes place in my stomping grounds, Indianapolis, Indiana. They’re both available on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.