As you might expect, I'm a practitioner of dog-friendly gardening.
I have two gardens: the "bird garden" to attract wildbirds (initially created to entertain P-dog while I'm away at work), and the "dog garden" that serves as basically a wildflower jungle for the canines and doubles as a cutting garden for me.
About two months ago yet another "volunteer" plant appeared in the bird garden.
The foliage was pretty and the stalk was strong and it came up right where the volunteer sunflower had been so I decided to just watch and see. A few white and pink flowers appeared--unusual flowers with a jagged edge--then a second plant just like it appeared a few feet away. I figured it was another robust sort of weed but since the heat fried my strawberries and veronica I figured I should be grateful for anything that could make a go of it. So even though the things became rather shrub-like and weren't at all in keeping with my blue, silver, and purple "moon garden" theme I resisted the urge to pull them out.
A dozen times I figured I'd maybe take a stalk to the nursery to find out what they are because, I mean, get real: what are the odds that I'd just recognize a specimen while flipping through my Gardeners Encyclopedia? The only flowers I know for sure are the ones I planted this spring.
Heh heh heh. I guess there's one more specimen I know by sight after all.
As I sat in the mulch tonight B-dog zoomed by with a white fluffy thing affixed to his collar. He'd been bounding through the semi-dog-proof gardens all evening. I removed the white thing. Cotton! How cool is that?
What's especially neat is that I'd already marked the page in my encyclopedia because I wanted to try growing it next year in the dog garden. I was wondering if I'd be able to get it to grow. (Of course if the rule of Gardening Irony prevails I'll have no luck growing it on purpose!)
I found all this so exciting that I sent this story and a photo to my family. (Yes, such is life.)
Tomorrow I'm bringing it to school to show my students where t-shirts come from.