The Little Annual That Could

I am the first to admit that I do not have a green thumb.  When it comes to keeping plants alive my track record is grim.  I believe my main deficit when it comes to gardening and tending to plants is that I simply forget to water them.  The kids or the dog or the cats or even the fish demand and receive my time and energy.  The plants stand quietly in the corner and wilt.

So it is with much surprise that every fall and summer one of my outdoor potted plants bursts forth with beautiful purple flowers.  This plant gets the same amount of neglect as the rest of my plants.  In fact just this summer one of the boys knocked it over, breaking its pot neatly in two.  I was too lazy to get to the store and buy it a new pot so for almost a month the plant lived in half a pot at the side of our yard.  In a great stroke of luck, the plant was situated in such a way that it got watered from the boys’ almost daily water gun fights.  And what did that plant do, living in half a pot with its soil dry enough to hold together without the aid of a container?  It flowered.  Yes, that plant placed a purple petal guilt trip on me by flowering at its most darkest of times.  I bought it a new pot.

Not only does this plant flower twice a year but the little tag that came with the plant clearly defines it as an annual.  Please correct me if I am wrong, for I am always getting annuals and perennials confused in my mind, but aren’t annuals suppose to die after one growing season?  I have had this plant for at least four years.

Annual Plants

Fall has come and the cooler weather has brought with it some rain.  The plant is happily blooming again in its new pot.  The purple flowers make me smile every time I walk by it – a little summertime in a flowerpot on my doorstep.

Annual Plant with Scarecrows

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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14 Responses to The Little Annual That Could

  1. I have never seen this flower or heard of it!! I just wrote it down because we both sound like the same kind of gardener!!! LOL! I just had to look at your About page to see where you lived. Are you still in the Pacific Northwest? I hope that is the same zone as us here in Wisconsin because I just have to have one of these!!! Awesome post!

    • shoes says:

      Yup, we are in Washington state. It always surprises me when this plant chooses the cold and dark beginning of fall to burst into flower. It is very pretty and handles neglect like a champ. I highly recommend you get one!

  2. And enter second commenter with about as dismal knowledge of gardening, horticulture and botany as they come. 😀 Gorgeous purple flowers! They are thriving! You just might have more of a green thumb than you give yourself credit for! Good job! There’s just something about seeing flowers blooming that makes us feel that everything’s going to be alright in the world! xx Sharon

    • shoes says:

      Hehehehe – I am glad to know I am not alone in my shameless pathetic lack of gardening skills/knowledge. This plant continues to amaze me. I really don’t remember when I bought it but the first pot it was in was tiny so it must have been a rather small plant when I got it. It is quite a nice size now and just happily blooms away regardless of what I do (or don’t do) to take care of it. Pretty purple flowers in fall are a nice thing to come home to.

  3. jensine says:

    wonderful maybe you have a purple thumb

  4. Alex says:

    my gardening is sub-par but you do have the jist right… annuals have to be replanted each year and perennials come back every year. but from what I googled it might just be that your plants propagated back into the pot. either way, they are pretty and you should be proud!

    • shoes says:

      Hum, interesting. I wonder why this plant does that while my other annuals turn brown and keel over never to bloom again. They are pretty and I am glad they continue to come back year after year.

  5. Nice work! Can you come up with a list of the best plants to neglect?

    • shoes says:

      Yes I can. The only other plants I have been able to keep alive for any period of time are: Long Trail Pothos, Spider plants, and bamboo. These have all been grown indoors and have withstood much neglect like being attacked by cats, ripped out of their pots by the boys when they were just wee tots, and of course, almost desert like conditions when it comes to their watering needs. Anything else green that has come into my care is short for this world, I am sorry to say.

  6. That sounds like a confused little plant! I’m glad it seems to be thriving though 😀 I’m just as bad at forgetting about plants and herbs so they always die on me!

  7. The best things in life are the little surprise we see everyday. Beautiful blooms and I noticed the Fall scarecrow in the background. The joys of Autumn are here. Have a great weekend.

    • shoes says:

      I agree. It is the little things, the moments of beauty and the surprises given to us by nature and our children that make each and every day so wonderful.

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