Monday, 7 May 2012

Daisies, Dandelions and Buttercups, Oh my!

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!

19 comments:

  1. Delightful post! Give weeds a chance indeed. So many pollinators depend on them.

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  2. My nightmare weed is Alkanet. Such a pretty blue flower, but so hard to get rid of. Their roots go down forever, like long thin parsnips, and they multiply as soon as I turn my back!

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  3. Hi Paul: I like your style. If you can't beat em, join em. My little lawn daisies just get pretty and then hubby has to mow!! Well, we all have our priorities..Happy Monday..Judy

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  4. Bindweed is the worst weed in our garden.

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  5. Dear Paul,
    I will not travel to London without telling you that I love that post very much! Weeds can be beautiful or/and helpful as medicine, and in salads - as long as they are given in the right proportion. (I even love the single (!!!) flower of ground-elder, and their young leaves cooked in the same way as spinach. As I say: a bit of it is just right for me - who needs masses?

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  6. Your photos are outstanding.

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  7. Weeds! Never enough time to yank them all out. So, I just enjoy them until they really get on my nerves. I've been a little lazy this year....need to weed more, and spend less time on the computer. Shame on me. Maybe I'll put together one of those darling little weedy bouquets ;-) Cheers, Loi

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  8. What a great post, its so true we do not spend a moment looking at the weeds and I can see they are just as pretty.

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  9. While some weeds are actually pretty, I only have the little tiny green things that poke their ugly heads out from my mulch beds and laugh at me! It is a constant battle to yank them out by the root, only to have new little shoot pop up in a different spot a few days later. I don't want to resort to spraying because of the proximity of all the shrubs, so bending and pulling are my weekly chores. Did I mention I don't like gardening very much?! LOL

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  10. as a gardener by trade, the presence of weeds is job security for me!! and i can find beauty in some of them....
    erin
    xxoo

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  11. Do you mind if I join your lovely blog? I took an almost identical dandelion photo so we must be secret twins! I am the girl one

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  12. I guess it's really true...beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I am not fond of the dandelions because when the wind blows it spreads their seeds. I rather enjoy the daisies. The breeze has carried the nemisia(sp?)flower seeds over my lawn so I have very dainty little yellow and blue nemisia flowers covering my lawn. They are quite sweet and as soon as the lawn is mowed they grow right back up. Everyone in the neighborhood seems to love them, but they are a flower and not a weed. I guess that makes a difference. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  13. lovely...beauty even in the most humble flowers

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  14. The weed that has me tearing my hair out is ground elder UGH!! Don't mind the pretty variegated variety which is a good filler-in for the front of borders but the plain green sort is appalling. And of course bindweed, but that is just to boring to mention.
    Thank you for stopping by, your bluebell pictures are great.
    Sharon

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  15. Hi Paul,

    You certainly gave the weeds in your garden their fifteen minutes of glory! The little bunch you picked and displayed in the glass looks very sweet.

    Your elaborate description of 'the daisy' made me LOL. You must have very good eyes or used a magnifying glass. You captured my attention though and I will have a look myself tomorrow :-)!

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief

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  16. You and your weeds are too cute. I'm going to look at my daisies right now.
    XX

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  17. I so agree-- some of the prettiest flowers in our garden are weeds. Even along the highways here- the woods are in beautiful bloom- with weeds. I'm a big fan of weeds!! Even had some in my bridal bouquet many years ago!!
    Xo
    Vicki

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  18. You can come over and pick all the weeds from my gardens for free if you like. Great article.

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  19. Beautiful idea. I am going to go out today and pick myself armfulls of weeds and put them in a vase. Jem X

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