If you are a true and seasoned gardener you will nod with a knowing satisfaction when I mention volunteers as well as their place in your gardening world. A volunteer can surprise you with its unexpected appearance and beauty, especially when it emerges in a bed of something totally different.
When we talk about how this can happen we have to consider the way different plants reproduce. Some have seeds while others have growth from extensions that will grow underneath and emerge in another nearby location. By and large most of my volunteers result from the first option as the seeds fall from a parent plant a year or more previous.
The sunflowers I have pictured definitely are the benefit of previous plants as they are all within a short distance from last year’s plants. I saved half a five gallon bucket of seeds from sunflower heads, but the only plants I have are strictly volunteer. I will try to collect these seeds to re-plant next year.
The wave petunias back nearly every year and it varies what different colors we enjoy. The fun part is waiting to see what volunteer plant sprouts where and what color it shows when it blooms.