Sunday, 11 March 2012
When is a weed not a weed?
When it has a pretty flower and is in the right place is my answer.
At the moment it is celandines. They are everywhere in our front garden and, as with all weeds, they grow where they like to be and they spread like wildfire if they are in the right place. The celandines are out and the big question is - do I leave them or do I dig them up. (The I is figurative, as I no long do that kind of gardening, so for 'I' read ' the farmer', although after my hour out there this morning, when I retired to put this blog on, he said ' you'll no doubt be back out to give me instructions.')
I like what I choose to call a 'wild garden'. I don't like things in rows and I do like things to seed themselves. Thus our garden has about six clumps of Lenten roses out at present - all from one parent plant and all self-sown. Later on it will be aquelegia - almost a pest in our garden but with such an amazing flower.
But I suppose the bane of our lives has got to be the Japanese Anemone. It has such a beautiful flower and many people who remark on the show we have say they wish they could grow it in their gardens, but it just won't 'take'. To them I say 'you can have it with pleasure' because although it has a beautiful flower it is such a pest because the roots are under the garden path and there is no way we can get at them without taking the concrete path up.
The herbaceous geraniums, of which I have many, have all last year's dead foliage around them. I started to pull it out and found it was full of over-wintering ladybirds, so it will have to stay for now. The clematis montana, which goes mad along the wall, has three nests in it, so I have only cut it back a little bit in case they wish to nest there again this year.
I am reminded of the verse - and I did know who wrote it, but have forgotten:
Suckers and seeds
the weeds will win,
we'll 'ave the 'ole world for our own.
And how glorious will come in
the era of the great self-sown.
Nothing is more appropriate to our garden. The farmer is out there toiling as I write. It is a walled garden and the sun is shining; the birds are singing in the Scots pines; the black cat is watching the seven hen pheasants pecking under the bird table (they are watching him too); the pretty little tree creeper is working its way up and down the bark of the pines and all's right with the world.