Suspense and Mystery in the Garden

Bird's Blanket Garden Border
I've been reading Agatha Christie mysteries featuring Miss Jane Marple and watching clips of Alfred Hitchcock after watching the movie "Hitchcock" the other night.

Do you know what this means?

This means new ideas and thoughts about gardens and gardening related to mystery and suspense are swirling around in my mind.

Alfred himself explained the difference between mystery and suspense which you can hear on a clip on YouTube.

If I may paraphrase, we have an intellectual response to mysteries. We have information and we want to figure out why or who-dun-it.  On the other hand, we have an emotional response to suspense. We have enough information to know something could happen but we don't know when or what's next.

In the garden, for example, it is a mystery to me where all the tulips and grape hyacinths are in the garden border around the locust tree that I call Bird's Blanket.  I know, though, that they are buried somewhere in that border, so if I dug in there now, there would be suspense each time I shoved the shovel in the ground. Will I slice a bulb in two? Or will I miss them completely?

Forget that every gardener knows that as soon as you dig around where bulbs are planted, you are going to slice a bulb right in half, or so it seems.  The point is there is a difference between mystery and suspense.

I'm going to move some surprise lilies, Lycoris squamigera, to Bird's Blanket. I'll do it in the spring when the foliage of the tulips and grape hyacinths solve the mystery of where the bulbs are planted.  Then I'll know the lilies are there and the enjoy the suspense of waiting for them to pop up out of nowhere in early August.

Lycoris squamigera hiding in the hydrangea
Then I'll go off and think more about suspense and mystery in the garden. Or maybe I'll get two cats and name them Suspense and Mystery?  

Who knows?  


Who knows what will happen next?


  1. Gee, I sliced a bulb in half just yesterday but there was no suspense, just a mystery as to how that bulb got in that spot as I did NOT plant it there. I did not! LOL

  2. I think you are the Queen of Suspense in the Garden.

  3. I think I may just order more rather than slicing them into pieces! I do like them peaking out of the hydrangeas!

  4. You make me want to read the Agatha Christie series, Carol, since I love mysteries. I would move the surprise lilies now, and have done so with success in the past. They would look grand in the bird blanket.

  5. I really like your Lycris squamigera, such a lovely flower.Agatha Christie is very popular where we are in the SW of the UK. Her summer holiday home is only an hour away and a favourite place to take our visitors.

  6. I have sliced quite a few bulbs over the years. good idea to move the Lycoris!


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