Monday, May 23, 2011

Volunteers: sometime the grass IS always greener...

Chamomile volunteer

...on the other side of the fence. I don't often see mention of volunteer plants in garden blogs but I had to remark on this, seeing how the above chamomile started some curious discussion between my husband and our neighbor. That chamomile (actually hundreds of them), appeared as tiny seedlings scattered throughout the garden. I pulled all of them, or atleast I thought I did, except one. In the beginning the soft needle-like leaves looked interesting but I really had no clue as to what the plant was, even after tiny daisy-like flowers started to bloom. Last week my husband remarked that it was a chamomile - easy to identify with one sniff of a flower bud - but I said that was weird because I have never planted chamomile anywhere in our garden. Yesterday evening our neighbor, whose plot is right up next to ours, asked how we managed to grow the single chamomile plant so well. His (in a pot on the other side of the fence) wasn't doing too good, and that's when I figured how the chamomile made it over to our garden - through wind dispersion from the year before. Why thank you neighbor!

Chamomile flower

We dig in horse manure about a month before setting young plants out but the chamomile is along the edge of a footpath. Probably water run-off from the terraced container above it had enough "vitamins" to enable its growth because the only thing I do for the plant is to rub off black aphids. Other volunteers that came up this year were dense clumps of tomato seedlings and my bet is that they were from ones that either fell to the ground or tossed into the compost. My favorite of all, however, are the shiso plants growing in the tulip box. I had a few red and green shiso that went to seed last year but didn't realize how much would fall out when I yanked the plants. Then in December 2010 I planted tulip bulbs and expected only tulips in spring, so to have all this at my disposal is an added plus.

Shiso invasion

Daytime temperature: 7am 19°C / 12pm 22°C / 5pm 26°C


  1. thanks for sharing volunteer plants, would have never known the term for them.

  2. Your tulip box happened on accident?? Beautiful!

  3. Kat - heaven knows what else I've pulled that could've been useful. Weeds are okay...they just need to be pretty flowers ^-^

    Julie - next year those shiso plants could possibly growing out on the driveway!

  4. Some of my favorite plants started out as volunteers. :)


Comments on posts (older than 7 days) will appear after authorization.