Sunday, 21 April 2013

Why should flowers have all the limelight ?

I was walking around the garden earlier today, allowing myself to be a little smug. Due to the cold weather, and a burst of activity earlier in the year, the garden , I thought to myself, was virtually weed free. Then I looked more closely and realised that this was clearly not true ! I decided to see exactly how many different kinds of weeds I could actually find, and to record them. I stopped in the end because  the count was getting depressingly high!

Gardeners must be a little obtuse, in that some plants they collect, nurture and value, and at the opposite end of the scale, they have  plants which they pull out and leave to die. These plants can be in the same family, but some are classed as weeds, whilst others have are valued garden plants.

Another interesting thing I realised is that I am clearly in denial where weeds are concerned. Although I have problems remembering the names of capital cities, and characters in books, I have always been able to remember both common, and Latin names of plants, because I am interested , I suppose. However, when it comes to weeds I am hopelessly ignorant! I recognise them, even as seedlings, and know which are foe rather than friend, but my knowledge of names is extremely poor.

I do know this one and so does everyone else !

The Celendine above is a weed to me, and I grub them up whenever I see them, however, 'Gardener's World' featured a man who collects them and views them as his favourite flower.

Another point for debate ... what is a weed ? What definition would you give ? The usual one is "A plant growing in the wrong place " and I can agree with that. There are plants which I nurture which are considered weeds in other coutries. For example, in Madeira gangs are employed to cut down the swathes of Agapanthus growing along the roadsides - it is a weed to the Madeirans! I have one pot of Agapanthus which I nurture very carefully. So, one man's weed is another man's treasure. Yet I have cut down well grown trees which are in the wrong place.

The weed below is no one's treasure! I know it as Creeping Buttercup, but I bet people in other places give it other names!

I know this as Hairy Bittercress . It has a little white flower, forms small rosettes and pulls up very easily (a real point in its favour !)

Below is the Dandelion - he of the impossibly long root !

The Dock, the antidote to childhood nettle stings ! And below, the afore-mentioned nettle ...

Apologies for the shadow over the photo, probably from the camera itself! You know just by looking at the vigour of these nettles that they would sting very fiercely.

Not a clue ! I haven't a name for this one, so all contributions welcome !

Same for the plant below, it has little blueish flowers and again pulls out easily. I ought to know this one - I pull enough of it out !

I stopped at this point as I was getting far too depressed !

So much for a "weed free garden"!

On a lighter note, I received a parcel yesterday containing garden products. A couple of weeks ago we went over to see our friends, near Wakefield, and I happened to mention this blog. Our friend's son works for 'Westland', and he sent me some of their products to try, and if I felt so inclined, to review them honestly in this blog. This is what he sent me:

My adult son immediately nabbed the Chilli kit and the 'Easy Flowers' and I let him take them, with the proviso that he would send photos of their progress and report back. I was quite pleased he was keen to try them, as the way they are presented is aimed more at beginner gardeners than more experienced ones. My son is in his third year of gardening so has some experience, and has grown his own veg seeds before. However, he doesn't have transport to get big bags of compost etc, so the Chilli Kit is convenient for him, as it contains everything he needs. 


  1. How fun to get some products to review! I have never thought to count all the different weeds I try to rid my garden of. And it seems that every year I have one that is my worst. Dollarweed is the worst one for me this year!

  2. Hi HG, it is true that every year has its own 'worst culprit' , wonder what it will be this year ! I don't know 'Dollarweed', what is it like ? Easy to get rid of ?


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