Written by Jeff
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The title of this post may be a bit misleading because I am not addressing companion planting which is an entirely different topic. Every once in a while I walk in to my garden areas and I find a surprise awaiting me. By this I mean the good kind. We all know about the bad kind! What I am speaking of in this brief post is volunteer plants. It surprises me that any volunteers show up in this desert environment. Let’s look at the samples below.
This is a pot of Rosemary which faces north and during the heat of the summer it is far enough away from the house that it receives a good deal of sun and heat. This plant gets watered regularly so this particular Vinca volunteer’s ability to grow is not a real surprise to me. I think it makes a nice addition when the silvery-leaved Rosemary is not in bloom.
This pot of Aloe “Little Red Riding Hood“ has picked up an Alyssum volunteer which provides a wonderful fragrance each time I pass it. This pot receives water infrequently and is in the sun from sunrise until about 12:15-12:35 or so. How this Alyssym continues to grow and bloom so delightfully is quite a surprise, but I will take it!
This is one of those real surprises. This Agave gets only a small amount of water each week and yet the Vinca, which is somewhat drought tolerant, doesn’t seem to be lacking. The one variable that I think helps this duo is that the Vinca is shaded by one of our courtyard gate pillars part of the day and thus does not get sun baked as much as the agave.
I know some gardeners are purists and they don’t cultivate volunteers. My philosophy, however, is that if it adds to the overall beauty of the garden and it isn’t bothering the neighboring plants, put out the welcome mat!
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Gardening on the Moon, www.gardeningonthemoon.com, originally published this post