One marker of true success for me as a gardener, a situation in which I feel I’ve received a “gold star” from Nature, is when a plant I’ve placed in the garden produces an offspring.
Ecologically, this doesn’t necessarily mean I picked the perfect spot for that plant. A stressed tree may produce a bumper crop of seeds to boost the chances of progeny before its impending death. But on the whole, I view it as success for me and my garden if those progeny are able to take hold.
It’s especially gratifying when a plant is new to me, and I’ve just planted it.
This spring begins the third year of my new front garden, and already two new-to-me plants have produced seedlings. Two gold stars! The parents of my new grandplants are Eriogonum niveum (snow buckwheat, a regional native) and Salvia transylvanica (Transylvanian sage, guess where it is native to?).
The sage happens to be one of my hummingbirds’ favorite flowering perennials.
I’m thrilled there will be more of both plants to spread around my new garden, and – if the offspring keep coming – to pass along to my gardening pals. Swapping plants, tips, and stories with other gardeners is a big part of why gardening continues to entrance me even after decades of passionate pursuit.