Sharing the bounty

Culled day lilies awaiting FR's pickup

Our ferns are all over the neighborhood, some intentionally planted, some creeping slowly, under fences and sidewalks to new sites. On the corner of our block, day lilies and daffodils with previous residence in our yard, have been replanted and are flourishing. These plants along with anise hyssop and mint have made their way through Chicago, into Evanston, and as far away as Ann Arbor, Michigan. Culling the garden means finding new homes for plants. We and our neighbors to the north have benefitted from over 20 years of this exchange, especially from a relative of theirs who is a landscape gardener and has deposited (usually in the middle of the night) all sorts of plants in FR’s backyard, including all varieties of hostas and hibiscus.

We have also found discarded bulbs and seeds along train tracks and at the botanic gardens which have found new homes in our’s and friends’ gardens. When I was with the 8th grade in DC several years ago, a garden across the street from the White House was all dug up and bulbs were drying in the sun. I picked up a few for our garden. Developers who were tearing down an old house in Lincoln Park near where I had summer work, encouraged any passerby to take anything from the garden of the elderly woman who used to live there before they dug it up for the new condo they were building. Our sedum and black-eyed susan came from her carefully tended garden. And, of course, the birds have brought many “volunteers” to the garden including the mulberry tree outside our back door which has started to bear delicious fruit these last two years. (JB is presently training the tree to be an arbor over our barbecue.) A few years ago we were eating plums and throwing the pits into the front garden. Unexpectedly one took root. We await its first fruit.

You can’t be selfish when you grow plants. Sharing the bounty is part of what having a garden is all about.

JB emailed the following to me last week after he weeded the day lillies in our back garden (see photo above):











Ferns on their way to Ann Arbor

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3 Responses to Sharing the bounty

  1. JEROME BLOOM says:







  2. Michael says:

    Wonderfully written. Yes sharing is important. Your husband’s poetry e-mail was eloquent. Only comment, I didn’t realize that the two women in the last photograph were named Fern.

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