Free Plants

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It’s hard not to like free plants, and I’m pleased to say I have a few. When I moved to this house a year and a half ago, the yard was neglected.  Neighbors told me that at one point the backyard was overgrown with a forest of little trees, and it took an act of God apparently to clear them.

While the backyard is BIG, by comparison the front yard is minuscule so it’s surprising in a way how many things grow in it: A cenizo, a live oak, an ancient post oak, liriope, azaleas, Asian jasmine, blue mist flowers, two old gardenias, a banana shrub, a Rose of Sharon, a wisteria, and nandina (double yuk).  None of these were planted by me.

Let me cut to the chase:   I noticed several unsolicited plants growing in my front yard, one of which was a lantana that kept getting mowed down.

This lantana was all but 3” tall when I transplanted it to the backyard.  It’s now approximately 30” and is blooming. Free plant! Score!  This was a win-win situation for both of us: The lantana got to live, and I get to enjoy it in bloom.

Since that time, I’ve found and transplanted two more lantana.

Two bird-planted Yaupon Hollies sat in my tiny front yard flower bed among a bunch of liriope.  Last winter, I moved both to the back yard, one to either side of my brick pathway.  Boy, have they grown!  They were about 8” tall when I transplanted them, and they’re now about 2’ in height.

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Yaupon Holly above surrounded by bricks.  (Sorry for the quality of the photo.)

Although I purchased several Turk’s cap lilies, I wanted more.  However, instead of buying them at $7.00/plant, I simply planted their seeds.  From seed, I’ve grown five plants and from cuttings I have three.

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Home grown Turk’s cap lily above. (Again, apologies for the less than stellar photo.)

Blue mist flowers reseeded themselves in several spots in the front lawn.  I dug up one plant  and placed it the back.  It’s now going dormant and was attacked by leaf hoppers, but I’m pretty sure it will survive despite this.

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Leaf hopper-infested mist flower above.

What I’d love to find is a baby post oak, but I don’t know if transplanting a baby post oak is possible.  This year was a mast year for all of the trees in my yard so perhaps I’ll get one.

I’ve also been blessed with free baby crape myrtles, salvia coccinea (thank you, birds!), native penstemons and an accidental root cutting from a thorn-less blackberry.

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