August 27, 2013

Proud Weeds


The first time I saw this doodle by Andre, I cracked up. The weeds were very sorry. They promised not to do it again.

It so perfectly captured the remorse of the weeds in my garden. Those downcast faces, those shifting stems . . .

My own weeds hang their heads, they are forever sorry, and they really, really promise not to be so bad ever again.

Well.

Every year they get worse.

Do these weeds look apologetic to you?

No they don't. They look happy and thriving and proud to be weeds. Queen Anne's Lace does not look anything but regal and queenly and definitely not remorseful.

Timothy grass is tall and noble and has a certain reserve.

But goldenrod has no elegance. The forests of giant six foot tall goldenrod that explode in August are anything but demure. They tower over all, lordly and loud.

Other tall weeds have established their territories -- stands of milkweed built like fire towers and thistle that could support cell phone antennas.

Feverfew waving about over everything, showing off its delicate daisy-like flowers.

Bindweed wraps around anything upright, mostly the other weeds. Its frilly blooms do not look at all contrite. Not at all.

A big stand of pale curlytop knotweed (persicaria) is blatantly faking being a garden plant, growing as it is at the edge of the lawn.

And of course the ragweed and purple loosestrife do not even pretend. They own the space.

These proud, unapologetic plants are in the unmowed area that surrounds my yard. I have an agreement with most of them. If they will stay out of my gardens, I will let them grow as they wish in the surrounding area and call it a meadow.

They like that. They don't always like being called weeds.


But when they make a play for my garden beds, which they do all the time, I make sure they are very, very sorry about that kind of behavior.

28 comments:

  1. I am glad you allow them to be your sorry neighbors. Much better than looking at another expanse of green lawn. The weeds around here are never sorry either. It seems like weeds anyplace are happy as could be. Blooming, towering, twining their flowery heads off.

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    1. Lisa, Weeds do seem to be happy and carefree. The ideal plant, except . . . they are weeds!

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  2. Your weeds look very happy - not sorry at all! I think meadows have such a beauty about them, but you are right - once they get in the gardener's territory, they are definitely weeds!

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    1. Holley, it is a constant struggle for me, since the wild meadow edges right up to our lawn and gardens. The weeds are forever wanting to cross that boundary and I won't have it!

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  3. I have to admit, there are a few weeds I've welcomed into my garden...like Queen Anne's Lace...and cross my fingers I don't regret it too much ;-)

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    1. Scott, I think Queen Anne's Lace is lovely. It's easy enough to recognize and pull out if it gets where you don't want it -- I pull a lot from my gardens constantly!

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  4. Fantastic photos, nature is beautiful:) Greetings

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  5. I think your weeds are very attractive. Besides, one person's weed is another person's wildflower, right? I've been noticing the goldenrod by the side of the road and thinking, now why is that a weed, but the goldenrod they sell at the local garden center costs $12.95?

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    1. Sarah, I just can't bring myself to consider goldenrod, even the shorter garden-worthy cultivars, a plant that belongs in a garden. It's because I am surrounded by so much of it. When I see it used in gardens, I just don't like it!

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  6. Your weeds grow like the pretty flowers! I know goldenrod, it grows here everywhere and I don't want it to grow in my garden.

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    1. Nadezda, I try to keep all the goldenrod out of my gardens too! But it surrounds me.

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  7. I remember the first time I visited here, Laurrie--your blog title made me chuckle and drew me in. My weeds are anything but apologetic. I have a similar situation with weeds surrounding the perimeter of our farm, and many of them oblige by staying out of my garden...but not all. Actually, the "weeds" you show here are quite lovely, I think...well, not the bindweed or ragweed:)

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    1. Rose, I'm glad you find my weeds so lovely -- actually at many times of the season I do too. The meadow can look nice in its wild and untamed way. Even the bindweed has a pretty flower, you have to admit.

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  8. I have some patches of weeds that give my swear vocabulary a workout. But my Connecticut house is on a near-in suburban lot, so there is less room for the big weed fields like some of yours.

    BTW, the Wall Street Journal today had a long article today explaining why this year's weeds are exceptionally big and strenuous.

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    1. Jack, I'm just one town over from W. Hartford and the difference in the vegetation is dramatic. We are surrounded here by fields and woods. (I don't think I want to read about bigger and more strenuous weeds -- scary stuff!)

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  9. Laurrie, I love the way your mind works - great post. You're very generous to allow your weeds their own space, especially as weeds don't know the meaning of gratitude.

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    1. Lyn, Ha! You are so right -- I have not met a weed that showed any gratitude. They are always sorry, but never grateful for how I allow them their own space.

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  10. I love the little whimsical illustration.The weeds in my garden are very happy that it is so hot and humid that I am unable to make them sorry for trespassing. Right now they have a free pass and aren't sorry one little bit! Belated Happy Birthday!

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    1. Jennifer, I like how you give your weeds a free ride during uncomfortable conditions! You are so generous : )

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  11. Your weeds are beauties. I don't blame my weeds or yours for wanting a spot amidst the green. It's like putting out a buffet and then telling the visitors not to eat. While I pull most of my weeds, I admire their audacious opportunistic nature. They are true survivors - no divas in the lot. :o)

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    1. Tammy, I do admire how these weeds survive and thrive. No divas, but brazen hussies!

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  12. Your weeds are lovely, and I am glad they have a space where they belong. My weeds, for the most part, are angry thugs bent on conquering the world with a take no prisoners policy. Wildflowers like Queen Ann's Lace or Feverfew are only pretenders. Kudzu, bamboo, and English ivy are REAL WEEDS, who unfortunately sometimes still disguise themselves as desirable plants.

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    1. Deb, I can't imagine living with something like kudzu around me. Our bindweed and Oriental bittersweet are aggressive enough but winter up here does knock back some of their thuggishness. You've got some scary kinds of weeds there!

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  13. Among the many definitions of weeds, I especially like: "A weed is just a misplaced plant." And, "If you like it, it's a 'good' weed." No question, a weed to one person is a desirable plant to another. You have some lovely weeds, Laurrie.

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    1. Lee, a weed to one is a treasured plant to another for sure --- and that is so true of goldenrod. It's used in gardens but to me, surrounded by the big wild ones, it is the absolute definition of a weed!

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  14. I love native plants and many that people consider weeds are welcome in my garden especially goldenrod. I also have it in my meadow. I tend to control the more non-native plants that I do consider weeds like Queen Anne and thistle...although they are so pretty....they are not welcome in the man garden either as they behave badly and take over. I don't think my weeds are ever sorry :) They wait for me to be too busy before they sneak in and take over.

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    1. Donna, sneaky weeds, waiting for you to turn around and get too busy!! I just can't do goldenrod in the garden even though the cultivated ones are quite pretty, I know. But to me it just isn't a garden plant : )

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