Finding Your Spot

“Bloom where you are planted.” I love that phrase; but as a gardener, I sometimes find that hope elusive.

My first encounter with the corydalis plant was in my sister Priscilla’s rock garden. Set on a slope by the patio, the shaded garden was a convivial mix of lilies of the valley, purple columbine, pink bleeding hearts, and yellow corydalis.

When designing my patio garden, I knew I wanted corydalis. Its fernlike foliage and sunny yellow blooms would brighten the shade under the dogwood tree. I found a lovely plant at my local nursery and placed it under the dogwood with high hopes.

But next spring, there was no sign of the plant. The dogwood shades a dry corner of the garden, and the corydalis had packed its bags and moved. Along the moist lower edge of the patio’s flagstone, a corydalis family of seedlings was now thriving with sparkles of sunny yellow.

Each spring brings a surprise. Where has the corydalis moved now?

I am not in charge!