Saturday, June 8, 2013

Waxing philosophically on what makes a weed

A weed is but an unloved flower. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox


But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people's idea, not nature's. ~Author Unknown



 
 
Once upon a time not all that long ago I volunteered to help weed some one else's garden.  It was  a learning experience in many ways.  Firstly everyone weeds differently, some on their knees, laboriously pulling or digging out roots, some chop into the ground with a hoe and while it does give the weeds a migraine, it doesn't usually prevent them from growing right back.  And then there are those who simply tear the green and growing  bits above the soil away...which could be compared to shaving.  My favorite is the person who refers to the so called weeds as "some french plant"  the name of which they have forgotten because most people won't know the difference. i know how arrogant that sounds, but it also true, because a weed is just a plant that grew where it wasn't planted.

A rose in a field of peonys is a weed, as much as an peony in a field of roses.  It is all a matter of perspective.  


  
I don't get too fanatical about weeds in my own garden, they have their place and purpose.  Weeds,like purslane, which is also an edible, shade the soil  and slow the evaporation  of water from the ground.  Some weeds like dandelion, absorb toxins from the ground.  Some like mullen, are large,and can be turn into the ground and return their nutrients, the also attract bees, as does the humble and good smelling gill0over0the ground.   And then there is the tasty wild mustard.  Does anyone know anything redeeming about quack grass?  I can only think of it is good exercise digging it out.

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