Passalong plants is a term coined in the South. It refers to those plants we acquire because another gardener shares a start, cutting, bulbs or seeds. Although my family doesn’t have Southern roots, we long ago took the term – and the practice – to heart. When we go to visit, we nearly always cart along something for the garden. I’m always on the lookout for new plants. I’ve collected seeds from the local library’s Abyssinian gladioli, from crape myrtles planted on city streets and from annual flowers blooming in deserted vacant lots.
In my own garden, I have:
Currently I have my eye on starts from the Cecile Brunner rose that was planted next to the original house on the ranch my parents bought when I was in my late teens. Since the man who sold it to them had lived there at least 50 years, the rose bush is probably closing in on a century of bloom. Our neighbor just up the road has an iris collection planted by the former owner that badly needs to be thinned, so that’s on the agenda for this fall. One of the leggy tomato seeds I rescued this spring turned out to be a delicious orange cherry tomato, so I saved seeds from several plants.
What passalong plants do you have in your garden?