I do love a gentle self-sower in the garden, one that establishes itself here and there without looking like it is intent on crowding out every other plant around it.
I love a flower that is content to remain in the background of the garden and doesn’t shout with color or scent as if to say “look at me”.
I love a native flower, too, one that might, if I was a lucky gardener, just one day show up in my garden.
Do you know what flower is all of these things I love about flowers?
The wild petunia is all of these things I love about flowers.
Ruellia humilis, self-sows, but not so much that you think it is going to choke out all the plants around it.
Its little bluish purple flowers don’t shout or have a heavy scent.
And it is native to the Eastern United States.
I got my wild petunia start from another gardener. It was a raggedy little snatch of root and shoot that I hurriedly planted one cold November day. I wondered if it would make it. Later that next summer, after I had mostly forgotten about it, I stumbled upon its blue flower.
Since then, I never cut back the wild petunias, not even in late fall. I just let them be.
Sure, sometimes in a fit of weeding madness, I might pull one out. But I just shove it back in the ground with a quick apology and a little pat as soon as I realize it.
Slowly, slowly, slowly, faster than a glacier, but not as quick as a dandelion, wild petunias are making a little stand in my garden.
It’s becoming a place where the wild petunia blooms.
And that makes me happy.
Wildflower Wednesday is always the fourth Wednesday of the month. Check out Clay and Limestone to find out who else is writing about wildflowers today.