The Joy of Volunteer Plants

Volunteer plants are unexpected guests that come up on their own.  Sometimes they are courtesy of the birds, other times they come from over achieving seeds that made it through the winter.

As far North as we live, a volunteer plant is always a welcomed guest, and I am always amazed by the tenacity of some of our visitors.

The photos are of some unexpected guests we had last summer.


Last year, I started feeding the birds whole sunflower seeds and we have many sunflowers in the flower garden and vegetable garden.  They have certainly been a cheerful addition to our yard and we have spent many quiet moments watching the Goldfinches land on the sunflowers and eat the seeds.  We even have a Gray Squirrel that likes to climb the tallest sunflower and eats his share too.  His weight makes the sunflower bob back and forth and he kind of looks like he’s riding a bucking bronco!

Squirrel on a sunflower

Other unexpected visitors this year have been numerous tomato plants.  Some are too close to the pumpkins to grow well, but there is one in particular that is growing vigorously by my rhubarb and even has tomatoes on it!   I had a couple of zucchinis or cucumbers that started growing, but I ended up pulling those, just because of other things I had planted nearby.


The most surprising volunteer plant I have this year is a Portulaca!  I can’t imagine how it made it through the winter, but it came up in early August and is blooming.


Life is full of surprises and I really enjoy this kind.  So did the birds and squirrels!


I’m looking forward to finding more volunteers this summer!

Enjoyment of simple surprises…Priceless!


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