More in the Garden Grows Than What the Gardener Sows

By the beginning of August wild vines and volunteers are thriving, unlike the flowers planted, that were faithfully watered and tended to.

I chalked up my Potting Shed door with a little garden truth and proverb: “More in a garden grows than the gardener sows”. It certainly applies to the morning glory sprouting up and growing with abandon.

I “planted” a bottle tree on a persistent patch of morning glory that sprung up in June, giving it a place to climb. . .

By the end of July the bottle tree stake was completely covered in morning glory, with the most of the bottles barely visible.

Another morning glory vine sprung up by the birdhouse. . .

I staked it and tied it with garden twine to climb the post.

I have to keep it in check so it doesn’t interfere with mama bird’s access!

My Squirrel Buster Plus bird feeder works like a charm preventing the squirrels from eating their weight in sunflower seed. It was however raided by a raccoon that freed it from its hook and tossed it to the ground, spilling the seed. We wired the feeder to the hook it hangs from to keep those masked bandits from the seed.

Sunflowers planted by the raccoon sprouted and I decided to let them grow, assuming a squirrel would quickly chew them up, which is what normally happens with any spilled seed that sprouts from other feeders.

What a surprise to find they flourished and thrived from spilled seed! I’m going to have to follow the raccoon’s example and plant some sunflowers next year. ;)

The bees say thank you!

I was disappointed when the Sunny ‘Hello Yellow’ milkweed I planted last year didn’t return this spring.

The mother plant left seeds behind last fall, so I have milkweed popping up everywhere with fingers crossed that the Monarchs will stop back by.

I captured this  3rd or 4th generation monarch stopping by to fuel up last October, preparing for its winter migration to Mexico.

 Purple Passion Flower vine pushes its way up between porch boards of the Potting Shed.

Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as maypoppurple passionflowerwild apricot, and wild passion vine, is a vigorous grower and common wildflower in the southern United States.

Each bloom lasts a day and the blooms are irresistible to bees.

 Passionflower vine is the larval host plant for the Gulf fritillary, also called the passion butterfly.

The larva feeds exclusively on species of passionflower. You can read more about Gulf fritillary butterflies and see the caterpillars and chrysalis, here.

How’s your garden growing?

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  52 comments for “More in the Garden Grows Than What the Gardener Sows

  1. August 4, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Mary, I have some wild things growing that some creatures have sown! The morning glories are beautiful and I am still awaiting my sunflowers’ big dinner plate blooms! We had three of those masked bandits visit our feeders this week. My hubby feeds the deer, turkeys, and the weird peacock that wanders in! But, the raccoons are now dining! I hope for Monarchs to return this September. Beautiful post as always! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • August 4, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Here! Here! What wonderful pictures to wake up to! I was thinking that this is very much like a metaphor for raising children. As they grow up, they turn into their own little people with their own ideas – some of which were not planted by me! What a nice contemplation over my cup of coffee.

      • August 4, 2017 at 10:58 am

        That made me laugh! Those ideas do “spring” up on their own don’t they? :)

  2. Linda S Sink
    August 4, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Such a wonderful post today. Your photography is so pleasing and I learned something too. I personally think “anything” that blooms is a flower and is welcome in my yard…even dandelions😀.

  3. Lynn Schantz
    August 4, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Oh my goodness Mary I never knew there was yellow milkweed, it’s beautiful. Did you find the seeds in a speciality catalog? Love all of the pictures you share, have a blessed day.

  4. August 4, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Good to know we all have similar gardening issues. I need to add deer to to list of visitors in my garden. They eat the tops out of many flowers/plants. Enjoy your blog so much…keep it coming

  5. August 4, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Gorgeous pictures of the sunflowers and butterflies! I may not be a gardener, but I certainly enjoy your pictures of nature!

  6. angela carrera
    August 4, 2017 at 8:27 am

    beautiful, as usual. I too have morning glories that pop up each spring. I used to save the seeds to plant the following year, but no need!!!! I also have a huge row of cherry tomatoes that self seed each year around the garden….so I strategically plant them in a row next to my driveway. and…..I never plant sunflowers!!!! thanks to the birds. this year, I also have corn I didn’t plant. well, so far….cornstalks. I find it fascinating. my brother in NC calls it his accidental garden!!! thanks for sharing!!

    Angela from NJ

  7. August 4, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Just this week I discovered I have three sunflowers that I did not sow. I was overjoyed to find them. I think the birds have gifted me by planting these seeds because they are near where the birds nested. We have large columns on our front porch. There is just enough room to build a well protected nest near the column and there were two families. Bob has put Vaseline on the poles of our feeders trying to keep the squirrels out of the feeders. Yes, the garden grows more than the gardener sows..little gifts to us. Beautiful post.

  8. Kathy Menold
    August 4, 2017 at 8:45 am

    I love your pictures of. late summer volunteers. I feed the birds all year and they in return plant some sunflowers around the yard and the selfsown morning glories threaten to obstruct my outside light. I have a lot of passion flowers this year and was thrilled to learn they are a butterfly host plant and bee magnet. Now if only some of my planned plants would do as well.

  9. Alice
    August 4, 2017 at 8:56 am

    When a plant volunteers I say God planted it and therefor never remove it as it seems it’s always the perfect place for it to grace our garden. Love your post as usual!

  10. August 4, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Mary, What fun it must be to discover Mother Nature’s own additions to your beautiful garden! I keep hoping for some surprise sunflowers, but I think someone always gets the ones the birds spew on the ground while looking for the perfect seed. We take down our seed feeders in the summer because otherwise we have visits from bears, but they don’t bother the hummingbird feeders. Right now I’m watching two hummingbirds fight over the sugar water, ignoring the flowers I carefully added nearby! We have a few volunteer Japanese maple trees which are doing well, and the foxglove and hibiscus spread everywhere. I would love to see some morning glory flowers as my mother used to grow them and for some reason I can’t, but perhaps I should be careful what I wish for. I do love the bottle tree engulfed in yours, and that birdhouse is one of my favorites ever, with its little curly ribbon top. Luckily your yard does not seem to be suffering from your heat this summer, in fact your photos of it look like all is thriving. Hope you and your furry girls are too! Linda

  11. Gail
    August 4, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I have a little bit of wild milkweed throughout . Not the prettiest thing to look at but I leave it alone so it can feed the butterflies

  12. Bev
    August 4, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I have a cucumber plant in my pot of petunias–whatever. One year I had a mystery small watermelon in my flowerbed. I so love monarch butterflies, but for some reason they do not “fliltter” in the Midwest. You are such a great photographer.

  13. August 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Stunning photos Mary! Simply stunning! You have my paint brush itching!

  14. August 4, 2017 at 9:44 am

    What a delightful post. Nature left you lots of surprising goodness this summer. Love the sunflowers! They are such a cheerful flower. Happy they made it and the squirrels didn’t destroy them!

    Enjoy your weekend!
    Ricki Jill

  15. Mary Boger
    August 4, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Hi Mary, pix are gorgeous!!! I was surprised to see your lovely shed in an article about
    she sheds in this morning’s supplement to my Detroit Free Press. Yours was
    the loveliest…no offense to the ones…lol

    • August 4, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Thanks Mary! That’s news to me, I guess it was an article about She Sheds: A Room of Your Own book? Beauty is in the eye of the *bee*holder. :)

  16. Kathy Vause
    August 4, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Mary, what zone are you in? I am in zone 5a and am wondering if I could grow some of these plants. Thanks.

    • August 4, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Hi Kathy, I’m in zone 7b 🌸🌻🐝

  17. Susie
    August 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Mary, where did you get that fabulous bird house?? I have been looking for one similar for a year now….

    • August 4, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Hi Susie, It came from a local garden shop several years ago. You find one similar to it from Amazon here.

      • Susie
        August 6, 2017 at 11:28 am

        Thank you, Mary-you are such a generous blogger!! For some reason I never thought to look on Amazon LOL–but found just what I was looking for.

  18. Aquitelife
    August 4, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Blissful being in a garden again ;-)

  19. Stephanie W Lane
    August 4, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Mary, You have the most beautiful “weeds”. By this time of year my weeds are mostly Japanese Stilt Grass that I am trying desperately to get rid of! You are my inspiration for my yard!

  20. August 4, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I say it all the time, but honestly your photos just jump off the page. They are exquisite!
    It’s fun for a gardener to see surprises pop up in the garden. I had a lone sunflower among the roses by the street and there are lots of plants that have skipped over the sidewalk and are now happily growing in the opposite bed. It’s fun to see what happens.
    I love that bird house. Can you share the details on it please.
    Happy weekend!

    • August 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks Sarah! The birdhouse was a gift from my hubby for Christmas several years ago. It came from a garden shop at the lake that’s no longer in business but you can find one identical to it from The Birdhouse Chick on Amazon. :)

    • Cynthia Raines
      August 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      What a delight! How fun to have these gifts show up. A tribute to all your hard work!

  21. franki
    August 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Your wild(flower) jungle is amazing…I especially luv the colors of that morning glory!! franki

  22. Rattlebridge Farm
    August 4, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Volunteers have never looked more beguiling and gorgeous, Mary. I keep looking for morning glories to pop up, but they haven’t. I did have a huge mound of marigolds pop up by the trellis beds and a lone sprout in the blacktop driveway. My garden got a late start this spring, but I hope to do a little fall planting. Speaking of masked critters, a raccoon climbed up the iron spiral stairs to the man cave balcony and poked around . He was gigantic. I had never been that close to one (thankfully through a window).

  23. Virginia
    August 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Oh Mary, thanks for your beautiful pictures. I too love to see what the birds and the wind sow in my garden. Every year we seem to have one or two volunteer Magnolias. I pot them and each year give a previously potted one to a friend or neighbor. We planted one several years ago in our yard to replace a failing Maple, it is now about 10 feet tall. We generally plant sunflowers in our vegetable garden, this year the cucumber vines have grown up some very sturdy sunflowers. They often reseed from year to year. It’s so nice to see each spring what pops up. God’s glory in nature.

  24. August 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I always love your gardening posts!

  25. Linda
    August 4, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    All the fun surprises in our gardens show that we really don’t have any control :-). While walking through my garden yesterday, I found a spot of orange in my Limelight hydrangea. A trumpet vine that I thought was long gone had weaved its way into the shrub and was blooming. Some little critter carried pumpkin seeds into the hose storage box during the winter, so I have a huge vine trailing through my front garden with marble-size pumpkins growing. Don’t cha love it???

  26. August 4, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    It is all so lovely. Your flowers, your butterflies and your photos. So nice stopping by :)

  27. Ellen
    August 4, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    This post is fascinating! The photography and content leaves me spellbound. I so enjoy seeing your many varieties of flowers as they grow and bloom. The butterflies are delightful. You must have been a teacher and/or a horticulturist in another life! I learn so many new and interesting facts from you. Thank-you!!

  28. August 4, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Love those volunteers! Especially the sunflowers!! Thanks for sharing..🌻🌻🌻🌻

  29. August 5, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Love the wild flowers that just sprout up….I have never had any!? The squirrels ate my sunflower seeds I planted and other seeds. There is SOooo many squirrels here and bunnies that it is hopeless! I enjoy seeing your flowers. AND, the squirrels dig out the soil in my urns that are planted with boxwoods!! ARrrr, have to replace soil often. I will keep trying because I do love flowers and a pretty garden.

  30. Sue
    August 5, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful photos!

  31. Cynthia Raines
    August 6, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Mary, just saw a blog called “Artsyvava” and she took dried flowers and epoxy and clear resin and placed them on a clear cell phone case for a one of a kind case. She added some glitter too, turned out cute. I believe it’s on Pinterest also. Thought you might like.

    • August 6, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Thank you Cyndi, I’ll check them out 🌺

  32. August 6, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Your garden posts are always so gorgeous, thank-you for your green thumb!

  33. August 6, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I just love those morning glories and sunflowers, Mary. I think I told you that I planted morning glories, and something ate them. I do hope I get some monarchs again this Fall, too. Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday on your lake.

  34. Eddi Reid
    August 6, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Beautiful photos, wonderful text and I love all the replies. A wonderful part of any day is checking in to your blog. Thank you bunches.

  35. Gentle Joy Homemaker
    August 7, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Your flowers are beautiful… and what pretty ideas for the morning glories to show off. :) I like the chalk design also… very nice. :)

  36. August 7, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Stopping back by to thank you Mary for linking to Gardens Galore!

  37. Marilyn
    August 9, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Your garden is lovely. So beautiful and colorful.

  38. Joan
    August 9, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    The flowers in your garden are gorgeous. I love that bird house.

  39. Marion
    August 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I love those Morning Glories. They are my favorite flower. Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden.

  40. Kathy G
    August 12, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Hi Mary,
    Oh such a happy place!!! Your flowers love you!!!!
    Hugs, Kathy

  41. September 4, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Good morning, Mary! I am featuring this on Gardens Galore this morning! Happy Labor Day!

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