Tuesday, July 23

The parable of the sower - my version

Many of you will be familiar with the parable of the seed sower where only the seed cast onto fertile soil flourished. Well my version is somewhat different.

There was once a woman (me) who decided that she would like more verbena bonariensis growing in her front garden.
The plants already growing there were the results of self seeding by seed raised plants long gone. They were retrieved from her allotment where they had seeded in unexpected places and so it seemed that it would be easy to collect seed and sow it where the woman, (me remember), wanted them to grow. 

Come autumn seed was collected and sprinkled into suitable gaps in the bed and the woman waited.

Come spring there was no sign of any newly sprouting seedlings, but as the woman was weeding between the paving stones on her drive, she noticed several familiar looking seedlings growing in the cracks. Only sand filled these cracks and so it wasn't the best of positions for a young plant trying to survive and grow.
Carefully the woman pulled at the seedling which was easily released from it's sandy bed with root intact. Several more seedlings were rescued in the same way and potted up into compost to grow on.
Then at the allotment the woman found another seedling snuggled up to a young onion and this too was rescued.
Amother had already been retrieved in December when it was spotted growing in a pot at the allotment alongside what at the time was thought to be a dead fig. (This fig later went on to be known as Lazarus II).
So now these young plants are being cherished and when the time comes they will be planted in the intended bed.

What is more there are also some hardy geraniums that have self seeded in the same way.

The moral of my parable is - "Get to know your seedlings and recognise potential gems in the most unexpected of places - you never know what you may be throwing away!"


20 comments:

  1. Hi, I found your blog via Suburban Tomato. I love your photos!

    We grow verbena bonariensis in our nature strip garden because it is so hardy, one of the only things that has survived!

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    1. Your very welcome Desert Echo. I'm hoping this way I will increase my stock.

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  2. Some of my best plants are from volunteers. Somehow those ones often seem to have more of a will to live than others that may be carefully sown or planted by a gardener! Worst (best?) of the self-seeders for me is Golden Feverfew, which I have not officially grown for more than 10 years, but which still keeps popping up all over the garden.

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    1. Mmm feverfew is a bit like poached egg plants isn't it, Mark? Once sown - never without!

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  3. Lool clever woman and she has a great memory :D :) . I can never remember where I planted something. For many years I tried to grow peanuts. They always ended up plucked out cause I forgot about them and took them for weeds. :)

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    1. I grew peanuts in a pot once for novelty value, Leanan - fascinating.

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  4. Over the years I've discarded many a young plant as I didn't know what it was. Even now I make many a mistake. On a slightly different thought, two of the big culprits for self seeding for me is poached egg plant and lady's mantle both I find hard to control.

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    1. Lady's mantle is like that in our garden, Kelli and poached egg plants are the same on the plot. We started with six poached egg plants and now have a lawn of them each year and more coming up in the tarmac.

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  5. It took me yonks to be able to grow this. I have a lovely self seeded one in the front garden (courtesy of one of next doors plants. I was able to grow some from seed last year though.

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    1. It's a contrary thing isn't it, Jo

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  6. Awwww....what a lovely post. I'm glad the young plants were rounded up from the silly places they chose to grow.xxxx

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    1. Not all of them though, Snowbird.

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  7. A most excellent parable, though isn't it irritating how self seeders go to where they think best rather than obligingly where you have tried to sow them!

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    1. It is Janet - why did they prefer the drive?

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  8. You'll have verbena b. forever if you let it reseed. I let mine do what it wants and then either pull or transplant the seedlings in the spring/fall. The pollinators love them. I've found plants have a knack for sowing themselves where they'll grow the best.

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    1. But as the original parable says, CM the ones on the drive would eventually run out of steam. Obviously the good drainage from the sharp sand was good for germination though so is there a lesson there too?

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  9. Get to know your seedlings.
    Yikes Missy. Given my post yesterday this is more than a little spooky that you too are writing about recognising seedlings. No such thing as coincidence, only connections?

    Sorry I have been AWOL from GL Allotments recently, bit of a struggle to catch up and keep up in this heat. hugs to you both. xx

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    1. Just read your post, Bilbo and as you say spooky! Have you taken lots of photos of pink flowers too.

      No apologies needed - I know how things have been for you.

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  10. I seldom can identify young seedling! I always mistakenly think of them as weed and throw away! sigh....you are such a smart woman!

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    1. If I don;t recognise something I just leave it alone until I can, Malar

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