Sunday, July 6, 2008

Daylily Cast-Offs

Oh goody! There is a lady who lives about 2 miles from my home and every summer, she thins out her daylily garden to make room for new species. What does she do with the daylilies she digs up? She leaves them at the end of her driveway with a sign that says FREE!

Free is one of those words that all gardeners love. I am not beyond picking up free plants from someone I don't even know! Actually, I've come to know this lady because this will be the third year I have picked up some of her cast-offs.

So because of someone else's desire to have the latest in daylilies, I get to fill my garden with lovely lilies that would other wise end up in the trash or compost.

Lucky me!


Patrick said...

It's nice of that woman to go to the trouble of giving her plants away. Most people wouldn't bother, and just throw them away. It's also nice you have a chance to enjoy them too.

I'm guilty. Every year I buy some seeds. Mostly I try to grow things from seeds I save myself or trade with others. As well as seeds, I like trading plants too.

Some are a lot more difficult than others. For example with corn you need at least 100 plants or within a few years you get problems with inbreeding depression, and I only have space for at most half that. I will probably never save my own corn seed.

Because an important part of why I garden includes propagating and sharing plants and seeds, I'm also a little choosy about what I buy or even accept for free from other gardeners. As much as possible, I look for plants other gardeners have themselves propagated (as proof of concept that it's possible) and those that are free from technologies or intellectual property rights that may limit my ability to propagate them in my own garden and re-share them.

Mostly this means either choosing heirloom or heritage varieties, or modern ones created by a person in their own garden.

For example, if I were to save seeds from Round Up ready soy beans, and try to offer them for free on the Internet, I would surly find myself at odds with Monsanto. Also most modern vegetable varieties are F1s, and therefore not suitable for seed saving. I just don't have space in my garden for plants that may possibly give me problems in this way, ever.

Even in the case of corn or other plants where I have no intention of saving the seeds, I would still probably not buy or even accept as a gift a modern variety because I would rather promote the use of non-commercial and unrestricted varieties. While this is much more important with food producing plants, the same thing applies with ornamental plants too.

Of course I'm not perfect, and I make exceptions sometimes, but this is the basic approach I take.

Heather said...

We used to live by a lady that did this with her Irises. Free is ALWAYS good!!

Ashraf Al Shafaki said...

I love that idea of left over plants as FREE stuff. I'll keep this in mind here in Egypt, perhaps to try and leave something for FREE to others if I ever find I have too much of something I'm growing.

Molly Day said...

Oh, I'm jealous about the button bush. It's one I've wanted but haven't ordered yet.

I don't throw away anything from my garden - it was all too hard won! Very few gardeners leave our place without plants in their car.

Starting seeds is a risky business so I over plant them and give away all the extra baby plants.

If you lived down the street from me you would get lots of plants.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I loved getting your e-mail and then turning to your wonderful blog to read about all that you're involved in. Good for you!! Keep up your great spirit.

Keep in touch and thank you for your words about my books. I'm working hard now for the new book. Just mailed 200 illustrations to the art department at my publisher's office, more chapters due soon.

Green Blessings, Sharon Lovejoy