Bird Bath Survivor

All summer and fall, when lifting the bowl of this bird bath to clean and refill with fresh water,

…I observed a hardy sprig of native Heartleaf Skullcap,  Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata, clamoring up from the deep, dark, depth.

Wan and pale, thin and spindly, this bit of perennial was ever-growing from the moist soil of the cavity, trying to make its way into the garden.  I didn’t think much of it, except that it was charming and rather remarkable that this remaining remnant from spring was surviving in less-than-ideal conditions and that it continued growing, inside the pedestal, slowly, throughout summer and into autumn.

Recently, I noticed this.

Yup, that’s the same individual, all grown up and emerging from its bird bath terrarium, into the outside world, saying “Hi!” and readying for spring blooming, hosting of pollinators, and spreading its plant DNA.

The determination to survive is heartening.

I guess it’s true–that native plants survive and thrive in tough situations, without much help from the gardener.

14 thoughts on “Bird Bath Survivor

  1. It does seem as though native plants are better able to go with the flow as a rule, but what a wonderfully charming way for this persistence of life to express itself. Reading about this kind of gardening experience always puts a smile on my face and makes me eager to get back out in mine. (garden, not face!)


      • Not silly at all – as a matter of fact I was just out trying to figure out how I could get blooms to spill out of any of my birdbaths. Pretty soon blooming birdbaths will be quite the rage, all thanks to your sweet little Scutellaria ovata. You’ll need to change your byline though to something like “the trends start here!”.


      • Maybe bird bath manufacturers can weave into their designs a place for plants to grow–you know, like the strawberry pot thing, with little pockets for seedlings to grow up in.


    • Thanks! There are plants (here in Texas) that grow out of rock, so why not a bird bath? And you’re right, it’s amazing how resilient natives can be in flood or drought.


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