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Sunny Volunteers

August 27th, 2012

Last year I ordered a number of different sunflowers to plant in the lower garden. The chipmunks dug up the seeds and feasted on them. Any that survived this gluttony were scooped up by crows when they germinated. I still had a few sunflowers in the garden, volunteers planted by chipmunks and birds.

Since we provide a feeder for the birds, we always have a few volunteer sunflowers scattered throughout the garden each year. Funny thing is, this year I have a few really nice ones in the exact place I tried so hard to plant them last year. I guess nature often gets the last laugh.

What’s your favorite volunteer in the garden?

8 Comments to “Sunny Volunteers”
  1. June Coady on August 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    We have a nice 1/2 inch ‘crack’ between our driveway and raised patio which blesses us each year with a surprise blooming somethings. Some years it’s allysum, some years pansies, this year we have tiny begonias!
    I water and feed them just as I do the rest of the plants (we have very little actual yard space so most of our garden is ‘potted’. A sign hangs over the entry to our patio which says “Gone To Pot”; a gift from a friend.
    This year we also have a volunteer, compliments of the birds I’m sure, a huge tomato plant and it’s smaller siblings right on the path. We left it and see 3 huge tomatoes coming along. I planted (in a pot) a nice “salad mixture” of seeds and up came two more tomatoes! Volunteers are just one of the many blessings of gardening.
    May volunteers bless you all
    June Coady

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  2. Bonnie Fowler on August 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    This year after giving one cherry tomato to my nephew and my daughter taking the other I assumed I would not have any for myself. Luckily nature intervened and one popped up in a pot I had my herb garden in last year. It also has basil in it this year.

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  3. Donna B. on August 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Mine are 4’o’clocks. I let them just goto seed wherever they want and I never have to start them indoors ever ever again.
    Sunflowers are close too! and I don’t even have a feeder!

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  4. alison@thisbloominglife on August 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Mine are feverfew (no idea where it came from as I didn’t plant any), salvia sclerea (clary sage) and italian parsley. I now let them seed each year and find their own spots. I love them all as cut flowers so they are warmly welcomed. I love my volunteers!

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  5. KimH on August 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Its a toss-up between the Gardeners Delight cherry tomatoes, lemon balm, & Columbines.
    They’re all over the place… I wind up puling many as they are weeds,(unwanted plant in that location) but either replant them elsewhere, give them away, or make tea. Yum!

    Reply to KimH's comment

  6. Corrie on August 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Mystery squash. I’ve gotten some really beautiful “varieties” from my compost.

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  7. Rick on August 27, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I always let any volunteer sunflowers come up in my yard. It drives my wife crazy cause some times they are in pretty funny spots. This year we tried a few of the giant sunflowers. We love them, over 10 fee tall with huge flowers!!

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  8. Maybelline on August 28, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Tomatoes – Gold Currant grow like weeds. I’m not kidding. All over the garden these little gems sprout – gravel, baskets, pots, cracks, beds. My mom enjoys bags of theses like candy. I’ve used them in salsa & salads but had to pull most of the volunteers or the garden would be a tomato jungle.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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