This is what I am hoping for. In fall 2010, a local nursery went out of business. I purchased a handful of perennials including the lobelia at 50% off and planted them in various places. Although the nursery carried an incredible assortment of unique perennials, it could not compete with nearby big box stores with discount priced annuals and azaleas that homeowners craved.
I marked the plant locations since I have been known to accidentally plant things on top of bulbs and other plants that had been previously planted. Markers were set out - but without labels or names.
Spring came and the Crazy Dasies [posted 2011.07.04] popped out, but no lobelia. No acanthus. No ligularia. All that remained were the blank markers stuck in the ground like little tombstones marking burial plots.
As I raked leaves this last fall, something thick caught the rake. A more substantial plant was found poking out of the vinca. I was mashing something that was struggling and fighting back. After demolishing the pesky plant and after closer inspection, I discovered acanthus sprouts had struggled all summer and were attempting a comeback.
Now that I know where the acanthus is, I am hoping it will reemerge this year. So, the mystery plant could be the reemergence of the lobelia, too.
Last spring I used a gift certificate for a few new plants from High Country Gardens, among them Violet Queen monarda. Two clumps were planted. They grew all summer and died back in autumn. The mystery plant is growing next to one of the monarda clumps. Photos of monarda show leaves in a paired arrangement on the stems and with a touch of serrated edges just like the mystery plant. Maybe a root took off to establish a new clump next to mom?
If a weed grows this well in the winter, who knows what it will look like in the spring?
Blooming: tete-a-tete daffodils, magnolia stellata, abeliophylum, rhododendron mucronulatum