Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Viola self seeded in cracks.
Seems as if every year the garden throws a surprise volunteer plant.  They're the plants that have self seeded from last year's pots or were dropped by a bird or was washed away by rain.   Or who knows (which is often the case.)

Having volunteer annuals is a lesson in "Don't be too eager to pull every unidentified plant."

Morning Glories.
I've also noticed volunteer annuals come up in the most unlikely places:  cracks in the walk, out of gravel, a totally shaded place and etc.

When (and IF) I deadhead my pots, I now throw the seed heads into my beds in hopes they will be one of my surprises.  
This little petunia went on to be lovely all summer.
For a couple of years, I had petunias coming up near where my pots sat.   

Another couple of years, I had violas in the cracks of the brick walk.  Although technically they are short lived perennials, they are often sold as annuals for pots.  
Nicotiana coming up from that little crack
between the porch and cement.  
This year I noticed some very large leafed plants peaking out from under my front porch in a space next to cement.  It ended up being two huge nicotiana plants; one old fashioned creamy green and the other a sweet rose.  Another plant is far away from where any pots might have shed and it's one of the "who knows" plantings.

Dill weed coming up in the brick sidewalk.
I've also had dill weed self seed and this is a big plus if you enjoy butterflies.  Since I seldom use dill for canning or cooking anymore, I plant to attract the

Annual seeds are not typically hardy enough to overwinter here in our zone 5 hardiness area.  I suppose some find that one little place where leaves or plant debris protects.  

Some other plant seeds that have made it through the winter in my yard are:  Cleome, Cosmos, Four O'Clocks,  Morning Glories, fall flowering mums, annual poppies.  Rose Moss, and Sunflowers.

The only way to have self seeded annuals is to let the seeds fall to the ground which means you can't dead head until those seeds are perfectly ready to drop.  Deadheading before the seeds mature will stop that process.  In other words, you have to reduce your tidiness level to have these surprises.  

Nature:  There are some of the surprises thrown at us that are perfectly wonderful.  

If you haven't seen the pictures and read the story of area farmers and businesses helping an ailing neighbor harvest his corn this past week, make time for a truly wonderful example of small Midwest town and a good people true story.  450 acres picked, trucked and stored in ten hours.  God Bless these good neighbors!  And God's mercies on the this family.

On Facebook:  Jason Bates.  In the Galva News this week.   

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