With the recent deluge of spring rains providing the perfect conditions in which to flourish, weeds were popping up in various hard to reach pockets throughout the garden this week. Whilst working my way round plucking them from their hiding places I found myself developing an admiration for the steely determination of these little plants.
With careful evergreen planting, diligent weeding and hoeing, I am rather proud of the minimal amount of weed traffic we get although I have noticed that there are a few that occasionally slip past security.
I don't have any grand designs to cultivate large swathes of Dandelions, long borders of Chickweed or glades of Creeping Buttercup but this year I thought I would pay more attention to the merits associated with these so called invaders in our garden, giving them their 15 minutes in the spotlight, before being vanquished to the compost heap or bin.
Weeds fall into two categories in our garden, those that have me reaching for the nearest trowel and those that I am happy to live with for a while.
Daisies Dandelions and Buttercups are the main visitors to the lawn.
A Daisy (Bellis Perennis) embroidered lawn I can live with. Who can resist sitting on the lawn picking and making daisy chains on a summer afternoon? There aren't many flowers that can cope with being trampled on as we walk across our lawn as much as these fellas do. I discovered this week that the yellow area of the daisy actually consists of a multitude of miniscule yellow flowers and that the young leaves and flowers of Lawn Daisies taste great in salads.
The Dandelions (Taraxacum Officinale) are usually sent straight to the gallows safe in the knowledge they will return to haunt me next year but they are not without merits. I remember my first tasting as a child of the delicious Dandelion & Burdock drink whilst on summer picnics thinking how brave and adventurous I was to be drinking such a strange concoction. Who knew, years later I would be eating Dandelion leaves in Salads!
Creeping Buttercups (Ranunculus repens) get the heave hoe from our lawn. They are very toxic and should not be eaten but as all children know you can hold them under your chin to see if you like butter!
So before you exterminate the weeds in your garden, take the time to look them in the eye, you may not want them to stay but they may be a little prettier than you think.
All we are saying is.........give weeds a chance!