Volunteerism is Alive and Well Here At Non-Consumer Farms

by Katy on May 17, 2010 · 3 comments

I like to garden, but I especially like plants that not only thrive under my benign neglect, but also send out their little volunteer troops.

It's kind of hard to tell, but there is one monstrous bean plant that volunteered from last year, and is approximately 20 times the height of this year's crop. Cool beans!

My old next door neighbor gave me a few tiny Lady's Mantle plants, oh . . about ten years ago. They crop up everywhere, but I just dig them out and plant them in appropriate areas. They look good all spring, summer and fall. *Love* the ladies.

This Euphorbia plant appeared out of nowhere, (bird poop is my best guess) and has grown into a huge specimen. The best part is that it's actually in a place I would have chosen to plant one!

This small Euphorbia plant found its way into a flower bed and got transplanted into my parking strip, which is both shady and dry. It should do well.

The bottom of my downspout is apparently the perfect place for a cheerful pink Valerian plant. Of course, I didn't actually plant it there.

This lawn is NOT a volunteer, but I wanted to the share it anyway. It was destroyed last year after an unfortunate soccer party, so my husband and I reseeded it. We were able to "rent" a free seed spreader and roller from "Portland Nursery," where we bought a $9 bag of grass seed. Because we planted it so early in the season, we haven't had to water it once. Yay for 27 rainy days in the month of April! Notice the stone edging around my hydrangeas? They are all the leftover stones from when my sister built our stone retaining wall. Not a one was wasted.

What "Non-Consumer Advocate" outdoor photo essay would be complete without a shot of my laundry line? Today's photo features a row of soccer jerseys, as the spring season is now complete.

Thank you to all the volunteers who made this blog post possible, I couldn’t have done it without you!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen May 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Love the photo essay, Katy! I too love my volunteers, the ones which return every year about now. I leave up the volunteer Valerian plants (they line the entire yard) a little too long but it’s for a good cause: the butterflies love Valerian. Now I’m waiting to see if the yellow pear tomato volunteers come back as they have the last 4 years. Anticipation! I tell ya, those tomatoes are more delicious than the ones we plant.


Rebecca May 17, 2010 at 3:37 pm

My house is totally like this. When we bought our home 3 years ago, the gardens had been totally neglected for about 10 years, so we have been slowly digging everything out and starting over. But I haven’t purchased any new plants, mostly moving/ separating plants and giving them new homes, getting specimens from neighbors, etc. And most of our plants are very low maintenance, so I don’t need to water them unless we have extreme drought. They also grow to fill the area they are in, so I have way less weeding to do in the summer once everything is up.

We also have a rough rock borders for our beds. We picked them up from construction sites near where my parents live. Every house foundation there needs to be blasted out with dynamite because of the bedrock. Most people pay contractors to remove all the rocks so they can plant a lawn. They were glad to have us take the rocks!


Molly On Money May 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Spring in the high desert is not as lush. It’s great to see how the rest of the country gardens (and has moisture- I miss moisture!)!


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