The Joy of Free Plants

You probably think I am talking about the free plants you get from a garden club plant swap or those you get when your neighbor needs to divide her irises and she hands you a clump.  Maybe you think I mean the free plants you get when you divide your own crowded perennials.  Although all of these are terrific examples of receiving free plants, I am not talking about those kinds of free plants.  I'm talking about the plants that miraculously arrive without you knowing where they came from; the ones my mother says, "grow where God planted them".  I'm talking about the plants that arrive from the seeds of last year's garden.  It is always a joyful surprise when I find a tiny seedling sprouting up somewhere unexpectedly in my garden and I had nothing to do with how they got there.  I suppose I hold some responsibility for their arrival since I planted the original flowers but, you know what I mean.

Of course, you have to be somewhat of a laissez-faire kind of gardener to really enjoy the random way seeds spread themselves all over the place.  You can not be a control freak or one who loves uniformity, not that there is anything wrong with those qualities.  One of my keenest desires is to have a perfectly manicured lawn and garden but since there is little chance of that happening soon, I am going to enjoy the beauty of my casual garden!

Here are a few examples of the "miraculous" plants that have shown up in my garden this year:

This is a cleome plant that "appeared" with the dianthus and ageratum I planted in early June.  I have no idea what color the flowers will be but, most likely, they will be pink.  Although I planted a purple variety last summer, I think most seeds revert to the dominate color, which should be pink.

Falling over the granite paver is Verbena Bonariensis.  I absolutely love this plant.  I discovered it about 8-10 years ago and have purchased a plant or two every year since then for my entry garden.  Reseeding always happens from the previous year's planting.  However, I never know where exactly they will show up! 


Here is a Helebores plant and a Hosta.  They just popped up out of no where!  I'll probably be transplanting them to a more useful spot next spring.


This is a foxglove that reseeded itself behind my picket fence garden.  If I had seen it earlier in the season, I would have transplanted it back into that garden.  I'll leave it be until next spring now.   No need stressing it out, at this point.

Here is another example of a cleome that sprouted up on its own. It's looking pretty healthy! 
This is a lettuce plant that managed to grow in a pot that was left out all winter.  I couldn't believe it had made it through the harsh winter we experienced last year!

Here we have a tiny portulaca and celosia plant.  They sprouted up in an old flower pot also.  I have no idea if they will grow and blossom this season but, I'm enjoying watching their development anyway!

As I said, some gardeners would not be at all happy with these straggler plants.  They can get in the way of a well-planned garden design.  I certainly understand where these gardeners are coming from.  They often show up in the most annoying places and  can clash with a color scheme but, I can't bring myself, in most cases, to tear them out.  If they are really intrusive, as early as possible, I will try transplanting them to a more desirable spot.  Otherwise, I leave them where they are to see what happens! 

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