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Friday, May 27, 2016

Pro Bono

As I've mentioned before, there are always a number of things that volunteer themselves in my yard, as I'm sure they do in yours. They can threaten to overwhelm other plants at times, but mostly they are beautiful and useful in their own way. But last year, I noticed several other volunteers - plants that would usually need to be started from seed or bought as seedlings and planted on purpose, that instead had wonderfully decided to grow without my knowledge or consent. The trick was recognizing them for what they were, and letting them continue to grow and mature as needed. They have returned this year even stronger and more prolific, and all I had to do was leave them alone!

The most spectacular has been this columbine that decided to grow next to the mailbox. It was just a scraggly plant with a handful of buds and a few flowers last year, but now it's a dizzying array of blooms supported by a sturdy foundation of stems and leaves:

dark maroon columbine

These classic little johnny jump ups have spread themselves out in front of the house, adding fantastic punches of color long before the other perennials in that area have had a chance to flower:


Although it hasn't started to blossom yet, this wonderful bellflower has produced several times more stems and buds this year, and I'm excited (and impatient) to see what it has to offer:


It's been a delight to watch these friendly interlopers, and I'm grateful they've chosen to grow and flourish in my yard. And if more decide to come and stay, that would be perfectly fine with me :-)

>o<

Every few months, I help a friend by volunteering as part of her "kitchen crew" to prepare a meal for families who have unexpectedly found themselves between homes. It's just a few hours of my time, doing something I already love, that hopefully provides a bit of relief and respite for those that need it. I always look forward to the next time I'm invited to participate, and disappointed whenever I can't make it! What are some of your favorite ways to volunteer your time and energy in your community?

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