This Old House: Gifts from the Past

2016-12-09-10-46-51Most of the time, I think it would be wonderful to have a brand new house on a property that’s never had a house on it. To not be fighting a hundred and thirty years of other’s landscaping decisions and poor house maintenance would be a delight.

But then, sometimes the property’s history is a bonus.

When we moved in over eleven years ago, most of the property was overgrown with weeds. Even the garden beds around the house were choked with grass and yarrow. We slowly hacked away at the jungle, finding many surprises along the way—beautiful old roses, dahlias, peonies, daffodils, and a host of other flowers hidden away in the weeds. We transplanted the floundering plants to new, weed-free garden beds as we re-landscaped the property.

We thought we had discovered all the lost plants, but strange things have shown up over the years.

Several years after we had cleared and replanted the area between the house and the hedge, a day lily sprang up there. We had never seen a day lily on the property before. The following year, a winter-flowering iris popped its head up there, too. Again, a flower we haven’t seen anywhere before.

Other flowers have since appeared in unexpected places, long after the areas had been re-landscaped—mostly bulbs, as though the bulb sat dormant for years until conditions were better. Either that or they’ve been growing, not flowering, and somehow escaping my notice.

Either way, they’re like gifts from past gardeners.

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