Volunteer plants pop up as if from nowhere without you having planted them intentionally and can be a welcome addition to your plant stock. They can also show you what types of plants might thrive in different parts of your garden.

The most common volunteer is a potato plant that sprouts in the compost heap or in the vegetable patch where it was not gathered up with the others at harvest.

Here are three volunteers that have thrived in my garden this year.

1. The first is an antirrhinum in a gorgeous yellow-peach. It first appeared in my flower bed last year and seems to overwinter remarkably well.

2. The aster ‘island series Barbados’ self-seeded itself from a plant in 2021 and has grown into a sizeable and handsome plant this year.

3. The begonia was planted in a flower bed in 2021 and seemed to disappear during a heatwave. However, the wet summer obviously caused the corn to regrow as this beautiful plant appeared in my flower bed. I have since dug it up so that it can spend the winter in my front porch.