At some point, in the autumn of some year in the past, some gardener scratched her head doubtfully, looked at a flower that had stubbornly refused to bloom even as the leaves had begun to turn, and referred to the plant as a “late bloomer.” That neat little phrase then entered social discourse as an apt way to refer to people who didn’t really find themselves until a little bit later than everyone else.
I’m guessing that initial puzzled gardener who coined the phrase back in the mists of time was the proud owner of a Montauk daisy.
We’ve got one of these coy plants, having received it as a gift from a neighbor last year and replanted it at the foot of the stairs leading to the down yard. It’s been a good year for the daisy, which has grown like crazy and is basically taking over the bed we created for it and other flowers. But even though we’re rapidly approaching the end of the September, and even though we’ve had a few cold nights and some of our other flowers are withering, and even though I can see the buds on the daisy getting ready to emerge, as the photo above reflects, the Montauk daisy still hasn’t produced flowers — which are supposed to be large and very pretty. It’s kind of frustrating. Every morning, with high hopes, I check to see whether the blooming has begun, and so far every morning I’ve been disappointed.
In short, the Montauk daisy is just taking its own sweet time and following its own schedule, heedless of my desires and dashed hopes. Gardeners need to develop a lot of qualities. For owners of this proverbial late bloomer, patience is one of them.