A local farm plants hundreds of gladiolus (gladioli?) bulbs every spring, and in the mid-summer,their farm stand is graced with the beautifully-hued spears. The flowers arrive just in time for a friend's July birthday, and one of her gifts is invariably a bouquet of the flowers. I just can't resist them. I am so predictable with this gift that, several years ago, I gave her a dedicated vase to put them in.
The flowers are lovely, and one of my favorites, but unfortunately they require too much care for this careless gardener. In our climate, the bulbs must be lifted each fall and stored in a cool dry place for the winter, then replanted for the spring. I know myself, and I know that this will never happen on my watch, so I admire their beauty on the farmstand and don't invest in the bulbs myself.
So I am completely mystified as to how one perfect white specimen showed up in my front garden bed two years ago.
I did not plant it there. I have no idea how it got there. It is not part of the "garden plan." According to the Weed Society of America (yes, there is such a thing, and no, I don't mean that kind of weed), a weed is "a plant growing where it is not desired." Technically, this glad is a weed.
But such a lovely one that I cannot bear to pull it out. Despite the fact that I refuse to dig it up and cellar it in the fall, it comes back year after year, and has attracted a friend next to it that hasn't bloomed -- yet.
(Pardon the overexposure, but my camera has become so unaccustomed lately to taking pictures with the sun's assistance that it was blinded by the additional light.)
My little Mystery Glad reminds me too much of the better parts of life for me to pull it up in rigid adherence to some plan. Sometimes the sweetest things -- a baby that isn't yours sleeping on your chest, an acquaintance that blossoms into a lifelong friendship, a kiss from your child out of the blue, fireflies in late July -- are the most unexpected and the most joy-filled. They are all Mystery Glads. And life would be a little more dull, and a lot less bearable, without them.