Beautiful? Weeds? Ok, I admit these two words are not usually found in the same sentence; especially so close together. You hate weeds, right? They smother all your lovely ornamentals, vegetables, lawn; they are an eyesore in the garden, hardy, prolific and hard work to pull out. Well, yes… sometimes. Perhaps this depends on the type of weed and its location.
If, as E.J. Salisbury suggests, ‘What we call a weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it’, does it follow that a plant growing where we do want it cannot be a weed? And, if it’s not a weed, then what is it?
“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered”- Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them” – A.A. Milne
In our garden, I have planted many attractive, useful, delicious, nutritious flowering plants which some would call ‘weeds’. Take a look at a few of these below and see what you think.
Yarrow is used to treat cuts, wounds, burns and bruises; it has anti-inflammatory properties and an infusion of the leaves and flower tops is drunk to reduce fever. It is a pretty addition to a cottage-style garden; bees love it and cross-pollinate all our fruit trees and vegetables while visiting yarrow.
Borage flowers profusely and is also adored by bees. They buzz all over its cute blue flowers for months at a time. The fresh leaves, used in salads, taste of cucumber; they can also be cooked as a green. Mixing Borage and Nasturtium flowers makes an ordinary salad look almost too good to eat. Look…
Beautiful or ugly, loved or hated, most of us will agree with Rousseau’s declaration– ‘Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone’.
More about ‘weeds’ tomorrow… In the meantime, do you welcome any ‘weeds’ your garden?