Blog: My Little Farm in Town

A Tribute to the Local Hardy Perennial!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My garden is filled with hardy plants suited to our hot summers and cold winters.  I used to spend way too much money on plants that died or didn’t reproduce themselves well on My Little Farm in Town.  Although I still buy a new plant to try out now and then, I mainly trade with other local gardeners or buy plants at backyard and garden club plant sales in my area.

There are a number of advantages to adding to your garden this way:

1.       These are plants that have already made it through the winter here and will probably make it through the summer, too.

2.       They are accustomed to the soil type and pH of the area.

3.       The price is a lot less then retail prices.

4.       I can talk to the person who grew the plant I am interested in buying for cultural information and sometimes can even see where he or she dug it.

5.       There is an opportunity to trade plants and no money changes hands.

6.       Goodwill and generosity are common—sometimes a fellow gardener will just GIVE you free plants.

7.       Often if you get a plant locally and lose all of it one winter, your neighbor or the person who originally gave it to you will be able to give you another piece to replace it.

So next time your neighbor offers you a plant you consider local or common, just take it, smile, and say thank you. It may just become the anchor in an area of your garden that never fails to produce color and inspiration. Begonia


Rose Campion


This reseeds freely but isn't hard to pull out or transplant if it comes up where you don't want it. I like the silvery leaves.

Sweet Woodruff


Tough as leather. I have transplanted this stuff in July and had it make it through the winter and spread! It is a great ground cover with drifts of sweet little white flowers in May and an interesting leaf the rest of the season.

"Cemetery" Hosta


These plants didn't come from a cemetery--these beauties came from beside a neighbor's garage. It is just a name the garden club women gave these hosta because they were often dug and donated to the annual plant sale by families thinning grave plantings. I dug and transplanted these 75 hosta under a line of cedars on our property line years ago and haven't done a thing for them since! They have done a nice job of brightening an area that had previously been mud and rank weeds.

More Hosta


I have a lot of shade in my "back 40." Over the years I've bought or been given a lot of different hosta. Only the strong survived. From these I divided or saved seed and planted a new generation that are now thriving.

Creeping Thyme


If you can't beat them, join them! I pull weeds from between the cracks in my front walk all summer long. One year I purposely planted this thyme in the cracks. Isn't it cute? It is tough as nails as well. A friend junk picked it from a compost pile, brought a plastic bag of it home, and shared a bit with me.

White Spiderwort


I picked up a piece of this plant for free at a garden club district luncheon many years ago. There was a box of it looking for a good home!



The ultimate tough local--throw one of these bad boys on the ground and they root. This was a blue ribbon 4-H fair entry put together by my daughter.

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