Living in an urban area, we have a small yard that is defined by a number of different fences, driveways, and neighbor’s sheds and garages. At the far end of our driveway is a small triangle of land that I had been mowing for years. It might be three feet long by three feet wide. I would drag the lawn mower all the way down to the bottom of the driveway, just to mow this small area. The grass that grew there was never very lush, and it usually ended up getting choked with weeds. It was the last area I’d want to turn into a flower garden since it was so far away from the rest of the yard, isolated by the driveway on one side, a fence on another, and a neighbor’s garage on another.

A couple of years ago, I experimented with just letting whatever grow there take it over. And what happened is in the photo above. Seeds from perennials from other places in the garden have taken over the area from the grass and weeds. Every year a different group of plants dominates the area. Last year it was inexplicably taken over by sunflowers. It’ll be interesting to see if the sunflowers come back. There’s so many plants in there now that I can’t identify them all. It’s now a source for things to transplant to other areas in the ‘planned garden’.

This weekend, we found a small tree growing among the flowers. I’m not sure if it’s a Japanese Maple or not, looks like it may be, could be a Red Maple too.

I just yanked it out, and moved it into a pot until we decide where to try to grow it.




My Dad would call these plants ‘volunteers’. Welcome aboard plants, lets see if you can grow in other places too.


I’m saving gas by not mowing there, and I’m getting a free plant nursery now too!


6 thoughts on “Volunteers

  1. I also potted up a volunteer tree (A buckeye) for a friend this spring! I find it extra satisfying to share volunteer plants, especially trees!

    • Good luck with the tree, we don’t have very many buckeyes around here. We’ll see a few in the forest, but not many.
      I haven’t had much luck with starting trees so far. We had an oak seedling last year but it looks like it’s not going to come back this year.

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