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.


Pondside said...

*sigh* Beautiful. You are my kind of gardener. I wish I had a helper, then there might be a little more order. Some days I think that all I do is keep the forest at bay.

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Great post weaver and I have to say I believe your definition of a weed is spot on. There is celendine spread over an entire grass verge further down the road and it looks glorious in the sun today (Sunday)

Dartford Warbler said...

Thinning out the celandines is forbidden here, until they have finished flowering. They are one of my favourite wild flowers and I love to see their shining faces in the garden each spring.

Bluebells are also made welcome and their green spears are shooting through now, in the shadier borders and edges.

Heather said...

I share your gardening views Pat and today have been digging up celandines which somehow spread to the back garden even though a few years ago they were only growing at the front of the house. They are so pretty but my husband nurtures the lawns and they drive him mad when they get into the grass.
He loves chopping things down and wants to reduce the montana but I guard it from having an army haircut!

Bovey Belle said...

I leave the Celendines - they are so pretty and I'm sure if you grew them in pots and sold them in Garden Centres they would be popular with those unfamiliar with them! They soon disappear beneath the soil again for another year, so I let mine grow.

My bugbear here (wish I'd never planted it) is Alchemilla mollis (been mattocking that out today), and Michaelmas Daisies. They are pretty but they get the flops and they spread like wildfire. Ditto Achillea ptarmica . . .

angryparsnip said...

Such a lovely post today.
I miss having a "garden"

I have kept my land very natural, and I rather love the weed and there blooms, for all the wild animals who pass by.
I have a few plants in pots but between the extremely hot summers and lack of mobility, I keep it wild and very simple.
Daughter and I are making (she is) a small raise vegetable bed from some left over pallets, in my screened side yard. keeping it safe from every wild animal who will devour any new little green shoot the second it pops out of the ground. We are even going to plant our tomatoes in a "topsy tervy" planter to save precious space.

This way a very beautiful post today.

cheers, parsnip

MorningAJ said...

I must get out in my garden soon before it becoes impossible to sort!

I'd love celandines in my garden. And lots of other 'weeds'.

Jinksy said...

'Weeds' are free flowers - how not to love them? LOL

rkbsnana said...

This brought me such pleasure

Elisabeth said...

A wild garden where the weeds can thrive and not take over from the beauty but add to it sounds like a joy to me, Pat. Better than the garden life of the city.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

If a plant likes growing somewhere it usually looks good to me. I always like things that self-seed then every year the garden is full of surprises!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Wish I had time to garden today as the weather has been glorious, but it has been wash day and there has been too much to do. However it does look better for its tidy up - plenty still to do though.

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