It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens

Showing Off My Grandplants

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Though Transylvanian sage is known to be a reliable self-sower, I am still thrilled and proud that it was able to reproduce in the site that I chose.

One marker of true success for me as a gardener, a situation in which I feel I’ve received a “gold star” from Nature, is when a plant I’ve placed in the garden produces an offspring.

Ecologically, this doesn’t necessarily mean I picked the perfect spot for that plant. A stressed tree may produce a bumper crop of seeds to boost the chances of progeny before its impending death. But on the whole, I view it as success for me and my garden if those progeny are able to take hold.

It’s especially gratifying when a plant is new to me, and I’ve just planted it.

This spring begins the third year of my new front garden, and already two new-to-me plants have produced seedlings. Two gold stars! The parents of my new grandplants are Eriogonum niveum (snow buckwheat, a regional native) and Salvia transylvanica (Transylvanian sage, guess where it is native to?).

The sage happens to be one of my hummingbirds’ favorite flowering perennials.

I’m thrilled there will be more of both plants to spread around my new garden, and — if the offspring keep coming — to pass along to my gardening pals. Swapping plants, tips, and stories with other gardeners is a big part of why gardening continues to entrance me even after decades of passionate pursuit.

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Snow buckwheat died after its first year in my courtyard garden, so I tried again in a hot, exposed area of the front yard and was rewarded with seedlings.

Posted by on April 6, 2016 at 2:55 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens.
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5 responses to “Showing Off My Grandplants”

  1. kermit says:

    Anyone who wants some alliums is welcome to come to my garden and dig up a few hundred…

    Some plants reproducing well is fine, but discovering that the new plants my wife or I planted last year successfully reproduces at a rate of ten per parent doesn’t fill me with pride but rather dismay.

    Now some plants work nicely. The Mexican feather grass and the bronze sedge clumps both establish several offspring at random locations around the garden, but they are easy to recognize when young and pull up easily.

    It’s not getting the plants to reproduce, but to reproduce at the desired rate that counts. Garden size, rainfall, zone, etc. determine which plants are difficult to control, and in which direction.

  2. Mary Apodaca says:

    I’m with you on plants that naturalize. My motto after five plus years of really working in my acre garden/ yard: Don’t buy anything anymore. Transplant what you have.

    When I started I found a garden exchange here in the Panhandle where the freezing-to-100 degree weather with the wonderful oaks on our property presents a challenge in an otherwise grow-it-all Florida environment.

    So I tried everything that looked nice and promised to thrive in partial to full shade. If people gave away some of it, it obviously had the potential to produce babies.

    I also bought blue salvias of many descriptions to fulfill my vision of an all-blue garden in one area (with a touch of red). Some thrived and love to be cut off and the stems planted. They also naturalize/ spread all by themselves.

    For a while I also bought other plants to support a vision in different areas around the house and yard in tiny different ecological systems.

    Today it’s very beautiful and rewarding — to me — and always gets compliments, even from service providers who see all kinds of yards/ garden in this lush part of the world.

    Constant work, however. My joy.

    • Sounds like you have created quite a paradise, Mary!

      I also like the look of many plants of the same kind. A landscape seems healthy when there are a diverse number of species overall, but also many individuals of certain common species (signature plants) running throughout it.

      Maybe I’ll try the stem cutting technique for propagating some of my salvias that don’t seem to self-sow. An acre is the size of my garden too, so I’m going to need to do more propagating!

  3. I wish everything I planted had these same results….

  4. Thomas Christopher says:

    Volunteer seedlings are so satisfying. I knew an elderly gardener in Texas who had planted for decades, but by the time I met him just let the volunteers come up where they wanted and edited with a how. What a lush garden he had.