I must admit, I didn't read this month's Garden Blogger's Book Club selection, Passalong Plants by Steve Bender. Of course, our wonderful host Carol, wonderful person that she is, is very forgiving about actually having to read the book, so I'm taking the easy way out - writing about a few pass-along plants in my own garden.
Because my garden is fairly new, and I've spent the last few years focusing on building my vegetable garden, I don't have all that many flowering plants yet. But I would say that at least half of what I have have been passed along from one source or another.
The first pass-along I have to feature is this beautiful purple and white bearded iris. Two summers ago, one of my mother-in-law's neighbors was building a new garage where the old homeowner had her perennial bed. She offered us as many plants as we wanted, as she didn't plan to have any gardens (!). Because it was mid-June, not much was in flower, so we had to guess as to what was there. The irises were obvious, but what wasn't obvious were the colors. I really don't like many bearded irises, especially the pastel ones, but I decided to take some, figuring I could take them out if I didn't like them. After moving them two summers ago, they did not bloom at all last spring. But this spring they took off. They just finished blooming earlier this week, and I really enjoyed them.
This yellow bearded iris was a complete surprise. It came from the same garden as the purple irises. Since nothing bloomed last year, I had no idea that I actually had two different colors. Luckily for me, I managed to plant most of them in the correct clumps, so they look nice as-is. These just started on Memorial Day, just as the purple irises were finishing. I just wish I had a better picture. Between my poor camera skills and a wild puppy whose leash knocked the stems down two days ago, they don't look nearly as nice as they did right before blooming.
This fushia flower is a pass-along plant from someone I work with. She no longer remembers the name, but it's some sort of ornamental thorn-less thistle. I planted it three summers ago. Last year it looked nice, but this year it's come into its own. The plant is very bushy, and will produce flowers on and off throughout the summer. According to my work colleague, it will produce a few volunteers, but otherwise is very well-behaved. If you click on the picture of the yellow irises to enlarge it, you'll see more of these flowers in the background.
I'm really hoping to gain more plants this summer from my mom. She's always had gardens, and I know last year she was talking about dividing several of her flowers. I'll just keep my fingers crossed!