A few weeks ago I was walking through an outdoor shopping mall with my husband when a dwarf lilac bush caught my eye.  Covered in miniature purple blooms, I wondered if they also had that intoxicating scent of lilacs.   Pausing to bend and sniff, I discovered that indeed, they smelled heavenly.

We walked on and I thought to myself,  “Too bad my little lilac bush in the back yard has not a single bloom on it.  What a disappointment that it has no flowers!”

You see, I planted a small lilac bush last spring.  By the end of summer it looked like it wouldn’t make it through the winter and I mentally prepared to tear it out and try to find the receipt.  To my surprise it came back this spring, looking incredibly healthy.  I watched while my other lilac bush bloomed and produced beautiful flowers while this little bush did nothing but produce green leaves.   I thought I had ended up with a non-flowering bush by mistake.

I was weeding the other day and to my complete surprise I looked at the bush and saw this:

It’s covered with miniature blooms!  They came out of nowhere, weeks behind all the other lilacs in my area, but here they are.  They smell heavenly and I stood there and had to resist shouting for joy (because we don’t need the neighbors to think I’m truly nuts).

I know in years to come I’ll get better at this gardening business, but I hope I never lose the delight of seeing a plant fulfill its potential.  I hope it always makes me sort of giddy.

Another happy surprise is the return of my Ranunculus.  They’re not supposed to make it through the winter here, but I left them in the ground because they’re far too small to dig up, and to my delight they’re back and beginning to bloom.

My columbines have also bloomed.  They are a flower dear to my heart for many reasons.

The honeysuckle I planted last year is thriving and I had to get a larger trellis for it to climb.  I also have honeysuckle in two other places which also need new supports and I’m on the lookout for them.  We’re looking forward to their blooms.

What happy surprises have you found outdoors?


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