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Today’s A Writer’s Garden guest is Sandra Ardoin talking about volunteers in the garden, and she doesn’t mean people who help you weed. I’d like to have some of those. LOL.  Welcome, Sandra!


Enough is enough. Maybe.

by Sandra Ardoin

They’re called volunteers because they “volunteer” to pop up in places and in numbers you never even considered.

No. Don’t thank them. They’re glad to do it.

Sometimes, these sprouts are a welcome addition to my garden and perfect for filling in little holes here and there. Often, all it takes is a slight shift in location. It certainly beats having to buy more plants, although for me, that is a fun hobby in itself. I love to rescue those poor babies left to wither on a sales rack.

Other times … volunteers are not so welcome. Take my hellebores. PLEASE! Also known as Lenten Rose for their bloom time, these are prime plants for shade. They set off a winter garden in various muted colors, flowering when most everything else is brown, leafless, or hibernating underground.

A few years ago, I started with six rescued plants. Because I’m lax in deadheading, today I have what seems like millions but is probably only hundreds. They pop up all around the parent plant, but I also find them several yards away. In the next twenty years, I expect to see the fifty acres of woods behind us covered with hellebores. 😊

Since I have all of that particular plant I’ll need for my lifetime, my only choice has been to get down on my hands and knees—something not as easily done as in previous years—and beg pull the invaders out by the roots. It’s a hard thing for me to do. I don’t like killing plants.

It’s hard to tell, but all those little green spots are seedlings.

Hellebores aren’t my only invaders, though. Blackberry Lily is another plant with seeds that love to spread their wings and fly far and wide. Then there are native Columbines, and don’t get me started on the Bee Balm!

Even though I have more volunteers than I can use, my gardens wouldn’t be the same without them!

About the Gardener/Writer

Sandra Ardoin writes inspirational historical romance. She’s the author of The Yuletide Angel and A Reluctant Melody. A wife and mom, she’s also a reader, football fan, NASCAR watcher, garden planter, country music listener, and antique store prowler. Visit her at http://www.sandraardoin.com/ and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Join her email community to receive occasional updates and a free short story.

A Reluctant Melody – 2016 Grace Award Finalist

Kit Barnes’ drinking ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. The most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past and the one person he hurt the most. A pariah among her peers, Joanna is all too eager to sell her property and flee the rumors that she sent her late husband to an early grave. But she will let the gossips talk and the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she’ll allow Kit back into her life.  When a blackmailer threatens to reveal her long-held secret, she must choose between trusting Kit or seeing her best friend trapped in an abusive marriage.  Will Joanna risk another betrayal? Or will she find a way through the pain of the past to love and trust again?