Tag Archives: zinnias

They just show up

I am a planner.

You carefully sketch and design your gardens and borders.  You plan for height and variety, texture and color.  You create walkways and growing areas, a border here, a berm there.

Early spring finds you growing seedlings on the window sill.  It takes such effort and exact science to make the small plants whole and healthy enough to finally be transplanted into the garden where they will grow to bring you joy and food for the season.

But for all the careful planning, for the pages of written plans saying eggplant will go in this square and a Japanese cucumber will go in that square and hmmm, let’s plant Nasturtiums here, there are the unexpected plants for which I did not account, the “volunteers.”

From out of nowhere.

There was a day I’d have pulled them all at first sighting, but now I don’t.  Now I see a Zinnia or a Marigold that has decided to grow in a crevice or between bricks or have just plopped themselves right in the middle of a walkway, and I give them their space.  Now I am glad they have upset my carefully laid plans and have just shown up, out of nowhere ~ a gift, a happy surprise.


The volunteers, sometimes flowers, sometimes a vegetable of some sort, while often getting a late start compared to the seedlings, ultimately catch up and are stronger and more established than the plants I’ve been coaxing, fawning over, encouraging to grow.  They are just there.  They just showed up, no work or toil.  Just there for the enjoyment.  They are divine blessings – an infusion of favor that I didn’t have to work hard to get, which makes them all the more delightful.  And cherished.

pictured: some “volunteer” zinnias I keep getting to cut and enjoy inside; they just keep producing blooms and I did not do one thing to deserve it…