Taking what nature gives

All of us have been saturated in ideas of landscaping perfection. Terraced and mulched. Bought at the big box store and put in the perfect spot. Like straight out of “Southern Living” or “Mother-Earth-News”—-I know I’m dating myself…

But what I’ve noticed as I mow and shred (bush-hog if you are from GA, Brush-hog from OK, or stalk-chop in Iowa.) is that if I swerve ever so slightly or grow lazy weed-eating a certain spot, good things come my way!

I have so many examples. I’ll share a few. If you have some I’d love to hear about them.

As I mowed around my blackberry patch, I’d always see volunteer canes where I mowed. I thought to myself, if only one would pop further than my 60” mower I’d let it go to establish a new colony. I did. And 3 years later the patch on the right is entirely the result of that!

Now on the left I’m doing the same. Look closely at the area I haven’t mowed and there are several volunteer canes!

Elderberry volunteered on corner of my house!

Black-eyed Susan’s volunteer and I selectively let them be

A persimmon volunteered year after year and I cut it down. Finally 3 years ago I grafted Saijo to it and let it be

And this pine tree just popped up 6 inches high. It was in a good spot 5 years ago. Now it is 12 foot high!

And hundreds of pecans and persimmons on the back of my place. All volunteers. Perfect root stock

And I’ll mow around this black eyed Susan just because it makes me feel good!


My problem is Himalayan blackberries coming up through my thornless canes.

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Mine are all keepers

Love it! I do the same but at a lesser scale. I have many flowers that just moved in from the neighbors on their own: black-eyed susan’s, some purple daisy-types, and some I have no idea what they are but they are very nice flowers. I get many peach volunteers and an occasional apple pear plum or cherry volunteer that I keep.


I’ve transplanted many volunteers. Black walnut, etc. I’ve found many fail and all are stunted for a while. But those that one can leave in the spot they’ve landed, they always take and grow really fast

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