“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.”
With all the rain and flooding we had this spring, I was unable to get to the weeding before those pesky weeds took a strong hold of my garden. So when summer started and I barely had the front and side beds weeded and mulched, I took a survey of the back yard gardens. Ugh…covered in weeds that were flowering and dropping seeds everywhere. So what to do. Well get on a strict schedule for weeding. But Mother Nature had a different idea. Drought. Without the wet beds, the weeding would be difficult to manage and almost impossible to undertake in some areas.
I am not as knowledgeable about weeds as I should be with the bumper crop I am growing in the more natural areas of the yard. So I bought a book to help me identify the weeds. As long as I am growing them I want to know their names. The book is Weeds of the Northeast by Uva, Neal and DiTomaso. It has hundreds of weeds, pictures of flowers, leaves, seeds and lots of information about weeds. And I certainly was thankful to know what was growing in my yard (hundreds of these plants), but I started to notice a few plants categorized as weeds that I would not consider a weed, but a native plant; violets, oxeye daisy, helianthus, common yarrow, milkweed, goldenrod, aster, honeysuckle to name a few. Of course the definition of weed really is, ” a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings.” In my meadow these plants are welcome. In your garden or lawn, these and many others may not be welcome.
this next week’s Wildflower Wednesday (hosted by Gail at Clay and Limestone), I thought I would show some of the wonderful weeds and wildflowers growing in my garden and meadow. (Opps…I’ll link in next week when Gail is back)
First the weeds….
These plants are listed as weeds and I have to say that for me I agree. Going clockwise from top left, the first one is vetch. This is stunning to see in a meadow when in flower, but it wraps itself around a plant until it chokes it out. Hard to get rid of. Next is horseweed. It has lovely daisy lie flowers, but again it will just take over a garden and for me is not wanted. Next is a beloved plants of animals and pollinators, white clover. It is a nuisance and can certainly take hold. I will never rid the garden of clover and leave patches for the pollinators. Rabbits need to eat the clover in the meadow and they have been warned. The bottom picture resembles many weeds and wildflowers. This one is yellow hawkweed. it actually can be pretty, but also a pretty big nuisance. Next are the pink flowers from hairy willowweed. This another that takes over and spreads easily so alas I rip it out. I always miss a few and realize it when I see the pink flowers. The center picture is a prized plant for florists. It is actually common teasel. The dried flower heads which resemble a very large thistle are used in flower arrangements. I was happy to have some growing in my meadow until they decided to choke out the other wildflowers and take over the second half of the meadow. We are digging them out which is not easy given they are in hard dry clay.
Now the wildflowers…..
Lovely echinacea coming into bloom. The drought has dried up many patches of echinacea especially those non-natives. The Japanese beetles are also favoring this flower. Can you see the little critter at the bottom of the picture?
My meadow with red milkweed, rudbeckias and helianthus.
White liatris blooming in the white garden that is partially shaded. I love how these flowers start to bloom from the top down.
Heliopsis ‘Loraine Sunshine’ and red monarda are a favorite combination. Can you see the red aphids? The ladybugs are not doing their job in this garden.
My happy phlox in the front yard a week ago. The drought is wreaking havoc on them now. The phlox in the back yard have not bloomed yet.
Here is one of my favorite newer coreopsis, ‘Route 66’. I love how the blossoms emerge yellow with a tinge of red and as they mature they become mostly red while underside stays yellow as you see here.
“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”
– A. A. Milne, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh
Special Note: All weeds and wildflowers pictured here are from my garden. Flaunt your flowers at Tootsie Time this Friday where she hosts Fertilizer Friday. I’ll be flaunting mine.
Monthly (usually around the 10th) I guest blog at Walkabout Chronicles.
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