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I always keep a trowel and a folding shovel behind the seat in my truck when I'm driving around and when I see a beautiful old stand of Iris or Roses etc. I grab some roots, cuttings, or other appropriate part. If people still live there, I go knock on the door and ask politely. Sometimes I'm just stopping out on BLM land at an old long gone site except the remnants of domestic plantings.

I have Lilacs, some bush with red flowers I haven't identified, grapes, Iris, Tulips, Rhubarb, Wormwood, and a host of other plants I've gotten starts off of now growing like they've been here forever.

Most recently I had admired some old homestead plum trees and have a start isolated for this fall courtesy of the property owner who was overjoyed to tell me their history which began quite early in this area on a long gone little farm that was then outside of town. They keep reproducing themselves and are somewhat of a wild grove, but I have noticed they produce so heavily that they break branches quite often. The current owner knocks plums off some of the trees to keep them from breaking and makes wine with them and gave me a bottle to boot :) I have seen other examples of what I believe are the same strain of this tree and it always produces extremely heavily here without much (any?) care.

I have found that when you find prosperous plants in your area that have stood the test of time they grow amazingly well compared to buying them.

Does anyone else do this or have a good story about dragging home starts of old homestead plants?

~Michael in Boise
 

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I have wild roses, turks lily and butterfly weed, and ***** willow that I have moved from area ditches to our spot........plus I've gathered many seeds and spread along my own ditches.
 

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I do that Michael ,Just yesterday I found beautiful pink climbing roses on my greatgrand mothers old property,its a long story but anyway, I will soon have some of those.My DH found some tiny wild irises in NC last year ,they would have bloomed to if he hadnt mowed them off :waa: Is a great way to get plants that will come back year after year.I think the old ones are more hardy too.Mary
 

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giving plants, seeds or cuttings to others, or getting those from others is the best thing. If it's a friend you get them from, they will remind you of them everytime you see the plant. I've gotten plants, seeds and cuttings from my friends, my parents neighbors, my brothers friends, friends of friends. I have not yet just stopped at someones home and asked them for cuttings. Not sure if i have the guts to do that yet. Though i think if someone stopped and admired my plants and asked for a cutting or division or seed, i'd be more than happy to give it to them.. makes you feel good that you have grown a wonderful plant that people want to enjoy for themselves.

Jason
 

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In Missouri its agaist the Law to dig any plants out of the Ditch.Still do every so often.

big rockpile
 
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