Tennessee Volunteers

Although it is in fact ALMOST football time in Tennessee, I am not talking about THOSE Volunteers!  No, I am talking about the ones that appeared in my garden this summer.
Last year I planted zinnias for the first time ever.  I didn’t know anything about them, and I had no idea how bountiful they would become.  I got a couple of six packs at Kroger or somewhere, and they got bigger and bigger and bloomed and bloomed all summer long.  So of course I wanted to plant them again this year.  And of course I couldn’t find the same kind this year!
But apparently zinnias re-seed, and so a month or so ago, these appeared.  They didn’t grow where I would have planted them, but I let them stay.
volunteer zinnias
volunteers zinnias 2
I am actually not a huge fan of annuals.  I’ll set out a flat of pansies in the fall, and in the spring put in a few to fill in empty spots or provide a missing color, but in general I am too lazy to want to bother with replanting things year after year.  But I have to have marigolds, and this one below is my favorite kind.
volunteer marigolds
It, too, is a volunteer!  The marigolds I planted THIS year mostly died.  I have never seen anything like this one, though.  I don’t even understand it.  It’s bush-sized now and I didn’t know marigolds could get this big.
garden volunteers
garden volunteer 2
Did you see my other volunteers?  I don’t know what they will turn out to be yet, but I know where they came from.  Every year we get vines like that all over the front yard, anywhere that pumpkin seeds fell when we carved our Jack O’Lanterns.  Last year we got all excited thinking we would have pumpkins.  I transplanted every one I found over in the side yard, and was disappointed when they instead grew various kinds of gourds, something that apparently happens with hybridized crops.  So I don’t know what’s going to happen here, and even though I hate to pull up vigorous and healthy plants, these are getting so long that I will probably have to.
Do you have volunteers in your flowerbeds?  Any suggestions for me for plants that re-seed reliably?

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  1. Cheryl Jones says:

    Hi Leslie,
    A first time reader to your blog, over here in middle TN and wanted to say, “Hi!”.
    Don’t forget, seeds can hang around in the soil for up to 3 or so years before they germinate, so you could possibly have more zinnia plants come up next year. They’re usually good at reseeding, and thanks to wind and garden critters pop up in some of the most random places.
    Have you planted cosmos or bachelor’s button? They reseed nicely, too.
    Best,
    Cheryl

    • lesliesholly says:

      No, Cheryl, I did NOT know that! How exciting. I really know very little about seeds. As I said, I am a lazy gardener and deal mostly with bulbs and perennials. I will look into cosmos and bachelor’s button next year for sure. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  1. August 30, 2014

    […] followed that with Tennessee Volunteers.  While the title may be a nod to the start of football season (Go Vols!), this is one of my […]

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