Garden Photo of the Day

Bonnie’s self-seeded garden beds in Pennsylvania

Violets and marsh marigolds jumped the woodland garden into this bed

Today's photos are from long-time GPOD reader and submitter Bonnie Pancoast (see her gardens HERE!) Today she says, "When we moved into our home in November of 2004 the only garden beds were foundation plantings. The present gardens began in 2005 with a modest creation of a garden bed adjacent to our driveway and the road. Over the years I've removed poison ivy vines, raspberry canes, and an assortment of weeds to create garden rooms. The beds were originally filled with both divided perennials brought from our old home and store bought annuals.  I must admit I was not expecting the proliferation of plants as annuals reseeded  and perennials jumped their beds. I have come to realize that because of their continued proliference I have been able to increase the area of the gardens without having to continually oversee established beds. Minimal weeding in spring is all that is needed, which leaves time to enjoy the gardens!" As beautiful as always, Bonnie!   ***Remember Bonnie's awesome labyrinth? I'm featuring it in my talk at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show next Wednesday!

Speaking of Seattle, it's just about time to decide where we'll all meet up! For those of you attending the Northwest Flower & Garden Show next week, what do you think of meeting in the lobby bar of the Sheraton right after my talk at 3:15 on Wednesday? Maybe 4:30? I'll be the one holding nametags and a pen….

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Echinacea plants transplanted to potting shed bed from self-seeded plants

Impatiens self-seeded between 'Golden Tiara' hostas in lower garden adjacent to labyrinth

Maddie sitting in a bed of self-seeded 'Ice' pansies

Self-seeded larkspur in the flower bed adjacent to driveway and road

Self-seeded celosia in front garden adjacent to road

Self-seeded sunflowers by potting shed door

Portulaca and alyssum in bed in front of home looking north

Close-up of portulaca flower in rock garden in front of home

Self-seeded alyssum and brass cranes
Portulaca, alyssum in flower bed in front of home looking south
Self-seeded impatiens in border garden adjacent to the labyrinth

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  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/03/2015

    Bonnie how great is it to have such prolific self seeders. I planted violets once and have since regretted it many many times over. I have gotten rid of them but they seeded in our neighbors yard and she likes them but then they escape and seed back in mine,so I am constantly pulling violets. It has been the biggest gardening mistake I have ever made. Your beds are lovely though with your self seeders. I wish my impatiens would self seed,I have never had that happen. I was interrupted while writing this and then I picked up my book I am reading before completing this. The book is the Wild Braid by Stanley Kunitz. It is a book every gardener would enjoy and a must have for a collection of garden books ,poems and a look at Staneys life as a gardener. He was a very enduring man. They talk of a self seeder as a "sport".when a seed gets blown somewhere,crosses and creates a different strain,that called a sport.If you like poetry you will love this book. Sorry I digress,thank you Bonnie for such a great peak at you self seeders and your lovely gardens.

    1. greengenes 02/03/2015

      Hi Nursernotnordstrom! Thanks for info on the "Wild Braid by Stanley Kunitz". I so enjoy reading poetry and about gardening. I went straight to amazon and ordered it. I can hardly wait to see it!

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/03/2015

        I sat and read through this as soon as it arrived. Loved this book,I wish I had known Stanley. His gardens were so special to him and he had an unbelievable hard life and still came out a loving compassionate man. I am so happy I have this book of his in my collection of wonderful books. You will be counting the days until it arrives.Jeanne I hope you enjoy it as much as I do,it is so different from any other book I have ever had but you won't be disappointed. Let me know what you think of it.

        1. user-7007362 02/04/2015

          Ooo, just added to my list! I love poetry.

          1. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/04/2015

            Read the reviews on Amazon I couldn't say it any better than its already been said.Terie I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

  2. perenniallycrazy 02/03/2015

    Beautiful gardens Bonnie! They have further heightened my anticipation of Spring. Hope to finally meet the GPOD family next week after Michelle's talk. See you all then.

  3. wGardens 02/03/2015

    Well, how cool is THAT! Love all those self-seeded plants~ and love all the color this morning on our -10 degree start of the day!

  4. lindanewber 02/03/2015

    I am green with envy at all the self seeders. Your beds are beautiful, and an inspiration. I long for spring and green. Thanks for sharing Bonnie

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/03/2015

    Wow, Bonnie, you and your soil must know the secret password to get Mother Nature to unleash such generosity! I love the surprise of welcome reseeders...they often find the perfect place to nestle in, get comfortable and create a happy community. The multi hues of the portulacas with the calming white of the alyssum is so delightful and makes such an awesome groundcover...seems like there's not even a smidge of extra room for a weed to sneak in. And I so enjoyed the close-up of the orange portulaca cozying up to that beautiful rock...they looked made for each other!

  6. lepfan 02/03/2015

    I'm also a great fan of self seeders. What a great backdrop the larkspur make to that beautiful rose. Is that a David Austin? The color is exquisite.
    Too bad Maddie doesn't self seed. Would take one of those "volunteers" in a heartbeat. She looks a lot like the dog I lost last fall.
    A friend gave me the Wild Braid mentioned below and it is indeed a wonderful little book, even if you don't consider yourself a poetry fan. Lovely photos too.

  7. greengenes 02/03/2015

    How lovely and simple are the reseeds, Bonnie. The only annual that has ever reseeded for me is the calendula. But it was a welcome site like yours! Gardening is so full of surprises and sure is a lot of fun! The celosias are so electric! I have tried to grow those but they never reach their full potential. Maybe not enough sun here in Washington state. And yes, I too enjoyed seeing you weeping white pine! I have made a spot for one here at our gardens and I am eyeing one at this little nursery soon to be at our home. All lovely gardens, Bonnie!
    And Michelle.. I will be there at the Sheraton. 4:30 sounds good.

  8. buckgardeners 02/03/2015

    Gorgeous pix - such a welcome sight on this frozen gray day.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that's not marsh marigold. It's Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) and that's a big problem. It's going to spread everywhere. It's a very bad invasive and an obnoxious plant, except for the 10 days when it's in bloom. I suggest you spray it when it is in bud, and keep after it vigorously.

  9. annek 02/03/2015

    My grandmother (who was an amazing gardener) used to call her reseeded plants 'volunteers'. She'd amble around her beautiful beds (very similar to your beautiful gardens) and giggle every time she saw her volunteers popping up. What a lovely way to participate with Mother Nature. Your sunflower's choice of home couldn't have been any more perfect, right next to his metal brother, and the swath of portulaca and alyssum are a joy.

  10. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/03/2015

    Wow, I think your reseeders had a garden design course over the winter dormancy. I count on some for my part sun garden pictures too. Larkspur, gloriosa daisies, and nigella (love in a mist) fill in around the perennials. I envy your full sun front yard and all the portulaca and celosia. Beautiful. I think some wonderful echinceas are going to crop up in yards due to all the new hybrids. Have you grown California poppies? They reseeded for me, but they don't look good: too leggy.

  11. GrannyMay 02/03/2015

    Bonnie, no wonder your garden is full of volunteers, you have created a wonderful environment for happy plants! I love both your garden design and your photography - beautiful!

    Most gardeners I know have trouble keeping the fancy Echinaceas going, never mind multilying and never have I heard of Impatiens reseeding themselves. What is your secret?

  12. user-7007371 02/03/2015

    Dear Bonnie, you say that beautiful garden appeared itself, flowers self seeded and that's it?

  13. GrannyCC 02/03/2015

    Amazing amount of self seeded plants. How lucky you are. It would be wonderful to get the impatiens to self sow. Obviously you have very fertile soil.I went back and looked at your other posts and it is all delightful. Love your front yard.
    I have sunflowers self sow in my vegetable garden. After rototilling the beds they appear and I move them to the north side of the garden for the birds to take care of them.
    Thank you all for posting yesterday for good wishes for my hip surgery. I really appreciate it. Have fun meeting Michelle and each other in Seattle. Send pictures of the get together!!

  14. user-7007327 02/03/2015

    Beautiful colors and lay out. Wish mine would reseed like yours.

  15. schatzi 02/03/2015

    Beautiful. That blue larkspur with the soft peach rose is gorgeous. Everything is. Self-seeded echinacea? I can't even get them to grow well a second season here in WA - not enough heat I guess. I imagine all this beauty is under feet of snow now. BTW Michelle - did I get skipped yesterday? No blog to brighten my day - I thought maybe you were buried in snow too. And yes, see you after the talk next Wed.

  16. user-7006958 02/03/2015

    You have a lot of self-seeding going on! Rows and rows of it! As Michaele must have some great soil! I have trouble ignoring dying plants towards the end of the season and always deadhead too much. The years I am lazy in the garden are always followed by a great year of self-seeders everywhere from Echinacea, violas, cleomes, nicotiana to calendula, nasturtium, evening primroses, foxgloves, lupines and Japanese primulas. The key to re-seeding is leaving alone the spent flowers and seed pods. For some of us, that is hard!

    1. Spring_y 02/03/2015

      So true. Soil is so important. The soil in my garden is very sandy and everything gets suffocated, very few plants make it. I'm disgusted.

  17. Spring_y 02/03/2015

    Magical, just magical! It's as if a fairy sprinkled flowers all over the place.

  18. foxglove12 02/03/2015

    So very colorful!

  19. user-7007362 02/04/2015

    It's almost impossible for me to remove volunteers. Years ago during a class, the herbalist said she would do so only if they couldn't be stepped over in the pathway. Ha. However, if they are invasive I am ruthless. My husband's parents used to live in a house that was surround by reseeded Portulaca. His mom was so proud of those prolific blooms. The close-up of your orange one is beautiful Bonnie. (I must show her) My Echinacea has spread nicely and it's always interesting to transplant and see where they will thrive. At no cost! Yip. Thank you for sharing Bonnie.

  20. lindanewber 02/04/2015

    OK, I've been gardening for years and hate to sound foolish, but.....should I rake the mulch away from my plants to encourage reseeding?

  21. joygarden 02/04/2015

    Another warning about the very invasive Ranunculus ficaria (syn. Ficaria verna), or Lesser Celandine. A spring ephemeral that "appears" to disappear by summer, but actually comes back and spreads. It is so aggressive because it uses multiple strategies... spreads by tubers, bulbils, and seeds. If you pull a plant, even the tiniest bit of tuber left behind will grow a new plant. It bullies out more "genteel" native ephemerals, will spread into lawns, etc. On "Most Invasive" lists, for example:

  22. thevioletfern 02/09/2015

    Stunning! Obviously you know how to place a plant - so happy they reseed readily. Maddie, next to that evergreen, is "art!"

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