Hidden Potential

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

At this time of year, when so much of the garden is dormant or going dormant, the hidden potential  of many plants become apparent.  As I walked around the garden this afternoon, I noticed many  latent signs that life is just waiting for the right time to burst open.

Flower buds at different stages


Bleeding Heart Vine buds just about ready to open any day.


Debutant Camellia bud will take more than a week to fully open.


This camellia bud will take much longer.


This hydrangea bud won’t open until spring.


Not all hidden potential lies in flower buds, these toad lily seed pods hold future plants.

So, with winter often being associated with the dying back of vegetation, we see there are signs around that there is still life in the garden if we just take the time to notice.


  1. Racquel said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    I think we are more observant at this time of the year since the abundance of summer is behind us & every bloom is a prize to be treasured.

  2. Brenda Kula said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    My neighbor gave me what I thought was toad lily, but it does not look like that. It has spots on the leaves and has never grown more than an inch or so tall. So I’m wondering if that’s what it is. (It’s what she told me.) I also had a camellia, but gave the plant to another neighbor who wanted it for sentimental reasons. The bleeding heart I have yet to try. But it’s quite beautiful.

  3. Jan said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Racquel, I think you are right. Also, now that so many leaves have fallen off trees and shrubs, these ‘little gems’ stand out even more.

  4. Jan said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Brenda, not all toad lilies look like the one pictured. I have another one that has the flowers blooming on thin stalks, not on the leaf stems. Why don’t you post a photo of yours, then, if it is not a toad lily, maybe someone will know what it is.

  5. Randy said,

    November 17, 2008 at 9:20 am

    I’m ready for spring already! At least I have the camellias to look forward to. 🙂

  6. Tabbie said,

    November 17, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    It’s so very nice to see these things! Sadly we have snow here. I will be watching for the Witch Hazel trees to bloom in February during the bitter cold. It’s the best we can muster during the hard winter months.

  7. Alex said,

    November 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Wow…the bleeding heart vine is beaUTIful! OMG!

  8. Jan said,

    November 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Oh, come on, Randy, winter hasn’t even started yet, and there is beauty in every season.

    Tabbie, witch hazel is so pretty and blooms so early. We can’t grow that here – not enough cold days. I guess with cold weather already settle in where you live, it is no wonder amaryllis and other forced bulbs are so popular in the winter.

    Alex, I love my bleeding heart vine. It returns from the roots if a freeze kills the top. It is a spectacular sight when in full bloom.

  9. November 18, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Those buds, they are so beautiful and it almost looks as if it’s painful for the bud to open. Lovely photos Jan. / Tyra

  10. Jan said,

    November 19, 2008 at 4:07 am

    Tyra, if one looks closely, buds can be just as pretty as the flowers. Your comment about looking painful to open reminds of a poem about how nature must struggle to survive.

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