Passalongs – gifts of plants given between friends

There may be a few out there not familiar with this term. Among gardeners, passalongs are gifts of plants given between friends, neighbors, and family sharings; generation-to-generation. Back in my memories there was the gift of a small Japanese maple from my father’s family home. It grows tall in my mother’s yard still and its seedlings now live on in my lot. These passalongs have many times gotten a new landowner involved with that outside space surrounding their home. Taking that freshly dug plant does demand a commitment to its survival. After all when the giver visits they may want to see how their gift has been cultivated, where you planted it, and whether you are enjoying it. That plant’s success certainly is homage to the attention you paid its first few months.

Gardeners know plants are babies that if given proper early care usually grow into healthy adults. Each gardener must have at least one memory of a passalong either received or given to a garden admirer or new homeowner. Gardeners can get especially creative when the beds need thinning! My garden has had many passalongs run through it and on to some other garden.

Here are a few passalongs that came and stayed. Most do well enough that unless you want to make a lot of new beds expect every spring visitor to leave with a bag full!

Mints, thyme, lavender, poppies, lamb’s ears, oregano or marjoram, torchlily, daylilies, tansy, lilac, white ribbon grass or phalaris, forsythia, asters, mums, shastas, daffodils, Siberian and bearded iris, coreopsis, liriope, Japanese maple seedlings, vinca, ivy, euonymus, anemones, black-eyed susans, artemesias, yarrows, privet, quince, ornamental and edible chives, hostas, lily-of-the-valley, asiatic and rubrum lilies, ajuga, dogwood seedlings, lamiums, hydrangras

…and the list grows each year and the passalongs continue. There’s a legend that seems to require no thank yous; only the promise to continue to share.

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