Volunteer Herbs

Earlier this spring I had some drastic work done on one of my garden beds. It was so overgrown with crabgrass (aka devil grass, to me) that I paid to have a landscaping crew come out, remove the top six inches of soil and replace it with landscaping topsoil. As a result, I was expecting to lose some herbs in that bed that usually self-sowed from year to year. Imagine my delight to discover they had outwitted me and managed to set seed in a rather inhospitable section of my garden.

The picture I have attached to this post shows two volunteer herbs. The larger one is catnip, the herb I thought was lost for good. The second smaller herb is Genovese basil, which found its way here courtesy of the winds that blow from my front gardens, across the driveway to this unlikely spot. Despite all the odds these two seeds landed safe and sound in a rather odd spot right next to the high traffic walkway between the driveway and the kitchen door. Needless to say, I plan to move them at my next opportunity to a better location.

So why am I showing you this rather unattractive photo of awfully small herbs? It is to illustrate what I like to call the persistence of life. I am regularly amazed at how seeds  and roots manage to appear in oddball spots. Cracks in parking lots, walkways, and walls are fair game for new life to sprout. Seeing it puts a smile on my face every time. It also makes me take more care when I am in the garden weeding. What looks like an unwanted visitor may be a seed that has simply lost its way. Next time you’re in the garden keep a sharp eye out for volunteers. Even if you have no immediate need of them, perhaps a neighbor might like a surprise gift. Pass on the herb and you might plant another smile as well.

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