I’m still finding “volunteer” plants in my yard, plants that show up without an invitation. If the plants are nice, I don’t mind them being there. Too many of the things I planted never sprouted, and if they did sprout, they didn’t grow. (For example, the bulbs I planted last fall. Everyone I talked to and every article I read told me I didn’t have to water them, so I didn’t. I found out recently I should have been watering them every two weeks or so all winter long unless there was substantial snow or other moisture, which there wasn’t.) So it’s nice seeing some flowers in the yard, even if they are considered noxious weeds, such as this Flower of an Hour (aka Venice Mallow and Hibiscus trionum.)

I was delighted to actually find out the name of that weed because too many plants elude me and my identity searches. Still, the idea that I might be harboring noxious weeds doesn’t thrill me, but often the reason they are considered noxious is that they are poisonous to livestock rather than people.

I don’t know anything about this green flowered weed except that it looks like a lilac seedling until it grows up and creates light yellowish green flowers:

Some things I know, such as alfalfa. Apparently, alfalfa doesn’t like acidic soil, so it should feel right at home in my yard. In fact, I’m thinking of planting a small area of alfalfa because . . . well, just because.

I do know what this little dime-size flower is, thanks to a gardener who reads my blog. Just seeing the photo, which disguises the size of the bloom, it’s easy to see it’s a zinnia, though where it came from, I don’t know. It did make me think that maybe next year I should plant a patch of zinnias since they seem to like it here.

Once we’ve put gravel around the house and planted sidewalks and trails, it will be much easier to control what grows. For now, I have mostly dead yard that seems to attract volunteers.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

3 Responses to “Volunteers”

  1. snakesinthegrass2014 Says:

    My history with plants and gardens is mostly one of disaster. But zinnias have a special place in my heart because it was the first flower I ever grew. I was a small boy, and my mother allowed a tiny patch of her garden for me to plant something from seed. Probably because I thought “zinnia” was a cool name, I chose that flower. I haven’t seen one in years. Yours looks beautiful.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      For me, it’s the sweet william. A garden I was allowed to plant as a small child. Enough of the flowers bloomed that I learned what it was, and for years, it was the only flower I could name.

  2. Judy Galyon Says:

    You do have a bit of nice color.

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