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!

Comments

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Patty

Love it! There are always a couple of surprises around our yard each year. This year we've got a burst of shasta daisys in the middle of the stone driveway!

margene

Your yard/garden is aging gracefully, beautifully and it looks like a lush and lovely place to spend a day, either relaxing or working. Wish my hostas would "volunteer"! We have a few volunteer onions. I wonder if they'll be keepers.

Sharon R

Sometimes I find things that seem to have come from nowhere. I guess the seeds travel on the wind or are brought by birds. Some surprises are good. Others, not so much...

Carole

I have lots and lots of volunteer hostas. There's also a daylily in my neighbor's yard that I'm pretty sure defected over from my yard!

Marilyn

Don'tcha just love volunteers? Well, the ones that are good...volunteer dandilions not so much! ;) I got orange asiatic lilies once out at the farm and never did figure out where they came from...

kmkat

My favorite volunteer/self-propagator is hen-and-chicks. The little buds break off from the parent, roll down the slightest slope, and take root. Easy-peasy!

Mary

like carole, we have hostas and daylilies and lots (and lots) of mondo grass. and I hope my hen-and-chicks (when I eventually get to that succulent garden) will propagate like mad!!

Vicki

Oh yes! Bloodroot, hosta, bleeding heart, ferns! It's fun to go garden "shopping" in your own "nursery."
;)

Cookie!

If we lived closer, I'd be hitting you up for babies. ;^)

I know what you mean. The lemon balm escaped the herb garden years ago and enjoys showing up in unexpected places.

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