There are three ways to plant a garden.
- You can start with seeds, gently coaxing them with warm soil, water and light.
- You can buy established starter plants from a local nursery or garden center.
- Or…you can get out-of-the-way and see what the earth has in store.
We refer to them as ‘volunteers’ around here, tiny seeds that make their way into the soil by a variety of methods and grow up to be the healthiest plants in your garden. Volunteers are the handy work of the wind, the birds and in this case a little self-control from the organized gardener. I like things tidy, even the garden, but have learned to show restraint.
It’s one thing to pull out weeds or cut back dying branches. That helps the garden grow. But dead-heading flowers isn’t always best. When I sat on my hands and let my annuals go to seed last fall, wonderful things happened.
For starters, lots of birds. It was a joy to stand at my kitchen window and see them visit throughout the day. They ate a few, dropped a few and now I have a self-seeding patch of annuals ready for a good soaking from tomorrows promised storm.
Don’t you just love nature?