Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Volunteer Sunflowers August 23, 2008

Three years ago, I planted some sunflowers in the parking strip. I can’t even remember what variety they were, I think they were some dwarf hybrid Mexican type, petite and bronze and cute. The following year, I didn’t get around to planting any but noticed some familiar-looking volunteer seedlings in the same part of the garden so let them stay to see what would happen. They shot up over late spring and early summer to become 6 ft. and taller volunteer sunflowers!

Nodding sunflowers

They aren’t really true to type anymore, but that’s fine by me. Now I no longer bother with seeds from a catalog, just let the squirrels and birds have at them in the fall and see what comes up again next year. We can view their happy heads from the house and they seem to attract a lot of attention from neighbors and passers-by, even though they require zero effort to cultivate.

The big one


3 Responses to “Volunteer Sunflowers”

  1. thescoundrel Says:

    About five years ago I had two tomato plants that produce small cylindrical cherry tomato fruit. I do not even remember what the name of the series was. The next year a few plants sprouted in the early spring about the time I planted my garden. Since then the volunteer plants have increased until the last two years in a row I have had to thin out a tremendous amount of the plants as their have been around 75 volunteer plants spring up each year. I am always giving several plants away and still have to chop some down simply because they keep trying to claim more and more of my garden.

  2. Philip Says:

    I love how you have let these naturalize. It remindes me of a Russian dacha garden. I love it!

  3. greenwalks Says:

    thescoundrel –

    I guess tomatoes are pretty famous for volunteering from compost, but I didn’t know that they fruited successfully. Good to know!


    Philip –

    Love that description. Too bad my dacha garden is now a thing of the past, thanks to a pesky squirrel. Oh well, next year it will rise again!

    – Karen

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