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.


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


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

"Volunteers" just show up.


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.


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.


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. . .


begat a "helle-baby"!


Same with this ligularia. . .



and stonecrop sedum. . .



and brunnera. . .



and even a spirea!



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!


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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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!


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...


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!


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...


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!


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!!


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


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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