La La How the Life Goes On
In Case of a Water Landing

My Volunteer Corps

When your garden has been around for a few years, you start to notice . . . the abundance.

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Lately, I've been spending a lot of time in the garden . . . managing my "volunteers corps."

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See the hostas in the photo above?  ALL of them are divisions of other hostas. 

"Volunteers" just show up.

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See those two spruce trees in the photo above?  I didn't plant them.  They just . . . appeared . . . a few years ago.  Tiny, tiny little trees that began from a cone that dropped in my garden..  I decided to just let them go and see what happened.  Now, they're both over 8 feet tall and add to the plant diversity of my woodsy area.  Keepers!

Some plants self-seed all over the place.  This geranium, for example.

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Several years ago, it was a nice, compact well-behaved plant.  Now . . . it is everywhere in my garden.   It seeds itself. . . and sometimes I let it stay.  It has a way of adding a nice little pop of color here and there.  Sometimes I yank it out. . . .

Same with my butterfly weed.

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I gave it an inch.  It's taking a mile!  But I like it, so I keep a lot of it.  The color is wonderful -- bright orange -- and it is one of the only food sources for the Monarch butterfly.  I pull what I don't want, and share the rest with friends.

Other plants have "volunteer" offspring.  Entirely separate plants that can be transplanted elsewhere.  This hellebores, for example. . .

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begat a "helle-baby"!

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Same with this ligularia. . .

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and stonecrop sedum. . .

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and brunnera. . .

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and even a spirea!

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I'll be digging up and transplanting all of these new "volunteer children" . . . elsewhere in my garden.

Sometimes, if you look really closely, you can even find "volunteers" hiding . . . and a long, long way from home!

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This year, I'm working hard to manage my "volunteer corps" of plants -- moving and transplanting and thinning.  It's good for the garden, great fun for the gardener, and really stretches the garden budget.

Forward, march!

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