Weeds - beautiful rebels

by ethelsmith

Are dominating weeds in your garden harmful

As we spend Summer fighting rebellious weeds in our gardens you have to wonder why we bother.Controlling weeds does not have to mean wiping them out with dangerous chemicals. How about encouraging them instead?

Weeds - beautiful rebels
Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants

“[A] witty and beguiling meditation on weeds and their wily ways….You will never look at a weed, or flourish a garden fork, in the same way again.”—Richard Holmes, author of The...

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Rebellious weeds
Rebellious weeds

Weeds can be such a pain, can't they. They spring up here, there and everywhere in your garden, or yard. Blown by the wind or carried by bees and birds weeds propagate at rapid speed especially in Spring and Summer. How you cope with them is up to you.

If weeds have taken a hold in between block paving or concrete slabs a sharp garden knife could do the trick. It can be back breaking work if the problem has been ignored for a long time. Better to sit or kneel on a padded garden knee pad and take your time to complete the task. Pick a lovely sunny day to combine sunbathing with gardening.

"Lazy gardeners" may prefer to opt for a weedkiller. If this is you check the label and instructions well. Many of these products are not child, bird or animal friendly. They may damage the environment and could also affect your health and safety. Then you have to consider the storage of said product and disposal of leftovers or packaging.

You cannot beat hard work though. Taking your time to dig up or pull up weeds from the soil. Some will easily give way whilst others almost appear to cling to the earth for dear life. Those weeds that have a long "tap root" may need a strong arm to remove them. If you leave some of the root behind the weed could grow again.

Having talked about removing weeds what about allowing them to thrive?

This can be bad news, especially for your neighbours. Weeds spread like wildfire and some put out virtual tentacles which become new growth. Buttercups do this and soon take over if left unchecked.

However some weeds when you really look at them are quite beautiful. This blogger loves all flowers and plants. She sees the beauty in them and continues to hold them in awe. Close inspection will show the truest colours and shapes.

On vacation in Menorca, Spain, a weed became a focal point for her. Each day on the walk into the Capital of Menorca, Mahon, the same weed flower was observed. Fine and dry weather meant the flower stayed in tact for the whole week. Yet it was in essence as delicate looking as fine lace. At the side of a road it, along with other weeds offered an overgrown area loved by birds, bees, insects and small animals. It was a veritable world of its own. In every day life this area would probably have gone unnoticed. Remember the poem by William Henry Davies? It goes like this:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

The point is also who decided somewhere along the line that these plants and flowers were weeds and not worth keeping?

The quote above regarding "Be a Weed" is so apt. In life some people are almost discarded as they do not follow the norm. This however does not mean that they are worthless and wrong. Far from it. Assuming the majority is right is dangerous. Individual, different, off the wall and the like are when you think about it good. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same. Government restrictions currently being implemented for many people around the world aim to prevent people being "weeds". Do not let them win.

In the garden it is possible to incorporate a wild patch, weeds and wildlife. You may be happier including such a garden with some restrictions. The choice is yours. Remember though many weeds are beautiful.

Consider the similarities between people and weeds: "A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill, except how to grow in rows. Be a weed." Sounds a good idea, we think.

Delicate as lace, tough as old boots
Delicate as lace, tough as old boots
(C) ethel smith
Updated: 05/25/2012, ethelsmith
 
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bizilady on 06/28/2012

yes, I guess it all depends on your perception of those little darlings! They are the strongest ones to survive during times of drought!
Good article!

ethelsmith on 06/25/2012

Thanks all and sorry for the late reply. I have let a patch of weeds with large yellow flowers thrive this year. Now I know why they are classed as weeds. They have taken over. Still if you restrict their growth it would solve the problem. I like the comparison between rebels and weeds too. The State tries to little our individuality I think :)

JoHarrington on 06/15/2012

I've always felt sorry for weeds, in the cultivated gardens of my family and friends. I think that they're beautiful and could never work out how one plant became a flower and another a weed.

2uesday on 06/13/2012

I have to admit to letting a patch of nettles flourish in a corner area of my vegetable plot, it is a place I leave for the butterflies. I also have a bramble patch for the blackberries in the autumn time.

Tolovaj on 06/13/2012

We can all learn a lot from weeds. And many of them are actually edible or have other interesting uses (for instance insect repellents, herbal manure...).
I agree, they can be beautiful too:)

katiem2 on 06/04/2012

Weeds are amazing, I often ponder how we fight so hard to keep the weeds out and work so hard to help the plants we want to thrive and yet weeds need so little to thrive while the other plants require much attention. It has always seemed to me a hidden message lies within it all. I was thrilled to read your weeds beautiful rebels, as I agree weeds are beautiful and take pause any time I come across a beautiful weed. Great Article, Beautiful! :) K

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