I spend a lot of time in the garden, strategically removing plants from one area or another. Weeds.
But in reality, there is no such thing as weeds, they are just hardy, misplaced flowers. Dandelions and Broadleaf Plantain were the first to the party, they are everywhere. Then I started putting mulch in my garden. Apparently mulch that was full of weed seeds. So many new and different types of weeds!
The oxalis was next, which is kind of pretty in its own way, with its little yellow flowers. Plus, it has a shallow root system and is easy to pull. But it must put out a ton of seeds with a high germination rate as it is everywhere. The pokeweed is a monster and prolific, but it is beautiful and the birds love it, so I always keep a couple.
The bane of my gardening existence recently though are the curly dock and sow thistle. The curly dock is truly a weed in the truest sense: it isn’t pretty and is tough as heck to deal with, having a deep and branched tap-root, making it a real nightmare. The sow thistle though, I’ve come to appreciate it a little.
In researching what this new irritant in my garden was, I found that it is way more than a weed. Some use it for animal fodder, some cultures use it as food and is like dandelion in herbal medicine. Moreover, aphids love sow thistle. This is a mixed bag as the aphids can spread from the sow thistle to other plants, but in my garden, it just seems that the aphids prefer it and they act as sacrificial plants. Apparently, they also encourage the development of beneficial predators in your garden and are a food source for many species of moths and butterflies.
Some weeds are just misplaced flowers. Some weeds are beautiful.