A Tribute to the Local Hardy Perennial!

Sedums are 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.

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.

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!

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.

These hardy 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.

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

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