HOMEGROWN: Find free plants in your garden

It always amazes me when I hear gardeners talk about the season winding down at the end of summer, the work load diminishing, the anticipation of an empty garden during the rainy season.

For me, it's just the opposite.

The lull came in summer, except for a few days when extra watering was needed. But now that we're facing autumn, the season is busily winding up again with clearing out tired growth, beefing up the compost pile, dividing and setting out new plants for a boost from winter rains.

With plant sales at nearly every nursery, ending in September or beginning in October, saving money encourages us to put in new plants.

But we can be even more economical by shopping in our own gardens.

Hellebores, euphorbias, clumps of liriope, society garlic (Tulbaghia), evergreen daylilies, and several other species that have expanded or reseeded themselves over the past few seasons are now eligible for moving around from where they sprouted or spread.

All are prime candidates for filling spaces left empty at year's end, and are especially useful in containers.

Since last fall, I've been enjoying such plants in a pair of 20-inch wide pots on the patio. Because these containers hadn't been reworked for two years, they needed new plants and a refreshed potting mix.

The urge to fix them came before I had fully planned a new composition, but I knew I wanted green fillers behind purple violas I had purchased, and I was confident I could find plants in my own garden to create a diverse yet harmonious grouping.

Container composition

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