Queen Anne’s Lace and Little Details

Phyllis Lifestyle 20 Comments

Details, Details, Details—

Maybe it’s me, but have you ever noticed how small details suddenly become big details? And once you are aware, you notice it everywhere you look. I have a tendency to fixate on something and drive myself crazy with it. Now you know what I am talking about—you focus on one thing, and it becomes an obsession until you wear it out.

When I realized that my walled garden was going to be a reality, thanks to my sweet husband, I became totally obsessed with buying bulbs and flowers. For weeks, the joke at our house was that the delivery truck was bringing another box of bulbs. When I noticed a flower blooming in someone’s yard, I wanted it in my garden. I would like to tell you that this is a new passion, but it has been this way with every planting season in the last few years. Then the most wonderful/worst thing happened—I found a wholesale place to buy bulbs by the hundreds! Oh, the glory of it all! However, one tiny detail escaped my thoughts…I was out of room in the garden. Oops! That tiny detail became a big one.

My mind went into high gear, as I thought of a plan to disguise the fact that I had overpurchased bulbs.  I solved this quickly by planting them in planters carefully placed around our home. Whew! That was a close call.

Last year, I finally got a Queen Anne’s Lace plant to live in my garden. I had noticed that one lady near us had these “weeds” in her garden, and they were beautiful. So, I transplanted one, and I was elated! At last, my garden was complete. Nestled among the roses was this one plant with delicate, white, lacy blooms. I was in heaven.

During the night we had a strong windstorm, and my little plant was blown over and the stems were bent and damaged. I staked it and tied it up and watched it die. My obsession was over, and I resolved to be satisfied with what I had and stop buying plants and bulbs— a temporary state due to my disappointment.

Queen Anne's Lace

This spring, I walked into the garden every morning, looking over my little plants and seeing what returned from last year. I noticed these interesting sprouts all over my garden, and I thought they looked familiar, so I didn’t remove them with the weeds. Oh, my goodness! As they quickly grew, I knew that it was Queen Anne’s Lace! The little dying plant from last year had successfully produced enough flowers to cover a large area. It’s taking over! 

Neal said that he thought we were going to have to take back the garden. Queen Anne’s Lace is everywhere and blooming profusely, and we may have to remove hundreds of them. I totally agreed with him, while in my mind thinking “how many will there by next year?” If one plant produces hundreds of seeds, how many will I have next year? Makes sense, when I think about the millions of them lining the roadsides here in the South. There is a reason there are so many.

Details, tiny details that have now become big details! I just have to laugh to myself. I know God has a sense of humor. I was obsessing over one little plant, and all the time, God knew that a big surprise was coming! I just love that.

Gardening brings many unexpected adventures, so share yours below! 

Comments 20

  1. I love this story! I did a similar thing a few years ago. I transplanted a few flowers from the roadside near our home, and the next year, they completely took over the garden! They are so beautiful in arrangements, though.

  2. Oh Phyllis, this is too funny! I have experienced the same joy with that beautiful WEED.
    It is just stunning and as they sway in the wind I wonder how many seeds are being dropped. I’m from Indiana and we have so many gorgeous wild flowers that give us such joy in the beginning but they quickly turn on us and begin to take over the entire garden. A sad lesson learned…”be careful what you ask for…you may get it”

    1. You are so right, but I just love this weed. It reminds of the lace I use sewing for my granddaughter.

  3. Your story is very sweet. I have loved Queen Anne’s Lace since I was a child and my Mom showed us how to put the cut flowers in food coloring to tint them. As we know our gardens change year to year, each season brings us different repair work and different joy. I know you will post some beautiful pictures.

  4. Hi Phyllis,

    Your story timing is excellent as so many gardeners have lost their recent spring work in their flower and fruit gardens due to tornadoes and storms. Just completed a phone call to a dear, but unhappy Oklahoma cousin who had spent days putting in a spring garden only to have it mostly wash away.

    Yes, the storm and winds did a lot damage to her garden and now even her cherished hummingbirds have vanished to the unknown along with most of her plants. Even a snoopy hawk disappeared, but to her dismay the fussy squirrels have returned to have lunch with the scattered remains of the garden.

    Yet she, with along others will enjoy, that even with such with storms, spring with all its glory will eventually return with new beauty because of prior work of those who garden.

    Thank you for reminding us about nature’s ability to regrow life.

    1. that makes me so sad to think about gardens washing away. Hopefully she can restore her garden in the fall. thank you for sharing this.

  5. Having lived in Nashville, Tennessee for 25 years, I was in love with magnolia trees. I used their beautiful flowers and leaves to decorate for weddings, and also for the communion table at church. So when my husband and I retired to Greeley, Colorado where our son was pastoring a church, I took several of my magnolia plants and seed pods for my Colorado yard, hoping that I would someday have beautiful magnolia trees, along with my kingly Colorado blue spruce trees. I had not taken into consideration how cold Colorado gets when the sun goes down, especially in the winter, and that the ground there can freeze up to three and four feet deep in places. So consequently, all my beautiful magnolia plants quickly died. However, I was rewarded with wonderful shrubs, bushes, and columbine plants (the Colorado state flower) and several kinds of lilies and roses. Now that I am a widow and living with my daughter in Arizona, I am getting acquainted with a variety of beautiful desert plants, including the grand saguaro cactus which can grow to above 60 feet tall. So I have learned through the years that many varieties of trees, shrubs, bushes and flowers grow and add elegance and beauty in all seasons throughout our wonderful U.S.A.

  6. I just love this!!!! My favorite part of Queen Anne’s Lace is the tiny dark petal in the middle. I’m sure your gardens and pots are just beautiful.

    1. the spring is always lovely here, but the oppressive heat will start to play on some of the plants. But I love each blossom. They are a gift every morning from God. Thank you for your lovely comments.

  7. Made me chuckle because you sound just like me and my passion for gardens. I remember Queen Anne’s Lace growing wild along country roads when I grew up in the South. Alas, extremely rare out here in Eastern Washington state. Maybe if I plant seeds in my English perennial beds they’ll grow here, too?

  8. I do understand. . I was delighted when our son planted a chive plant in our garden. What could be better than fresh chives? Little did I know that I would find chive volunteers everywhere. I am currently trying to figure out how to plant and control chives in the garden of our new home.

  9. I laughed when I read how hard you tried to have “a” Queen Anne Lace bloom in your garden. Yes, they are a weed thats almost impossible to rid yourself of. However they make a wonderful arrangement with day lilies. That was my mother’s favorite arrangement to make as the day lilies and the Queen Anne’s lace grew wild on the ditch bank near the house. She would use a big yellow deep bowl filled with chicken wire to hold the flowers. It made a large beautiful arrangement that last one day as the day lilies are called day lilies because their blooms last one day. Fun story and brought back sweet memories.

  10. Beautiful garden!
    I love “volunteers”! The straw flowers and Lavenders do that in my garden! Also, my Carnations and other little dianthus get really thick, so sometimes, I am fortunate to be able to thin, transplant and have them actually make it!

  11. My sister-in-law, Heidi, gave me a small, bronze fennel plant when I admired it in her garden. For years, I had to pulled out hundreds of its offspring in my garden every spring. Recently, Heidi passed far too soon.
    This spring I smile through my tears as I try to contain that hardy plant!

  12. I love the joy and surprise of seeing plants pop up…last year I transplanted (rescued) two pink astilebe as they wouldn’t make it due to our beating heat. Knowing I had chosen the wrong spot, I found a shady one and it’s growing nicely and hoping they will do well! Your Queen Anne’s Lace adds such a really pretty touch of white! =)

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