Tenacity of Nature

“Tenacity of Nature”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


It never ceases to amaze me how tenacious Mother Nature is.  Every day we see plants growing in the most inhospitable places, and often they are flourishing.  Cracks in concrete, brick walls, to name a few.  Gardeners go to a great deal of trouble to make sure plants have the right ingredients to grow – drainage, soil amendments, fertilizers, etc.  Propagation methods sometimes require multiple steps, and still success is limited.  Seeds must be scarified, stratified, etc.  How did some of these plants ever make it at all is a mystery.



These little lilies are growing in my garden this year.  I planted them in the late winter.  I don’t know how these survived from last year.  They were purchased last spring, were labeled as “Easter Lilies” and were in cute metal containers about 5 inches square and about 5 inches deep.  There were three bulbs per container.  Since there were no drainage holes, I punched two holes in each one and planted the bulbs.  Sure enough, they soon sprouted and bloomed.  They looked very nice on the front porch.  After they bloomed, I just put the containers in the side garden to get some sun.


I would water them, and they eventually went dormant.  In the meantime, I had planted some lilium longiform bulbs, and they did fantastic.  I pretty much forgot about the little metal container ones.  During the winter after a severe rainstorm, I found that the drainage holes evidently got clogged, and the entire container had an inch of water sitting on top.  I turned the containers on their sides for drainage, and that is how they remained for the rest of the winter.  In the spring, I saw some green sprouts and couldn’t believe my eyes.  I quickly planted them in the garden, and five of the six are up and blooming.  Now, you know if I had really wanted those things to survive, they wouldn’t have.  Lilies need care, good drainage, etc.  Through benign neglect, these little bulbs survived and flourished.  Go figure.  It is amazing how the will to survive is so strong in everything.



  1. Cinj said,

    May 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    That’s for sure! I planted a rose last year (for some deranged reason). It grew beautifully as usual all summer long. Come fall I didn’t bother to do a thing to it. They die every year no matter what I do to them so I figured why bother. Guess what? It’s growing. It’s been rather chilly here so far this year so it’s not even close to being ready to bloom, but I was dumbfounded when I saw there was growth on it!

    Yay for mother nature!

  2. Nancy Bond said,

    May 24, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Your story reminds me of the many dozens of sunflowers that sprout from stray birdseed each winter. I’m always amazed by their tenacity, too, and I’m sure if I planted as many, few would sprout. Your lilies are lovely.

  3. Jan said,

    May 25, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Hi, Cinji. I know exactly what you mean. The same thing has happened to me. I’ll plant something that is supposed to be an annual and it survives for years, yet a perennial will die back after one season. I guess this is what keeps us gardeners on our toes.

    Nancy, you are right about those little volunteers. No planting at proper depth, no watering, no fertilizer, but we end up with blooming plants. It’s a mystery.

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