“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” ~ A.A. Milne
I admit, I’m not much of a gardener. I do know the difference though between domestic weeds and flowers. I love dandelions and remember making flower crowns out of their yellow tops as a kid. Years ago, when we first moved out to our acreage in Water Valley (Alberta), all the foliage was wild and I couldn’t have told you the difference between a wild flower or a weed. Our first spring in the country brought an assortment of new growth and while I wanted an area close to the house that looked well pruned and dedicated to simply beautiful wild flowers, I was afraid to pick anything in case I discarded something of value.
So I let everything grow. I nurtured all plants allowing the stalks to reach new heights. Yes, there were plenty of weeds that joined the wildflowers as they sought the same sun and growth in the earth as their counterparts. I even let an area become taken over by thistles. I mean who wants to get pricked trying to get rid of the nasty things (and their roots grow deep and wide). But, as they grew (and they do grow tall), they began to grow buds, stunning purple flowers bloomed. With the blossoms, the plants attracted Monarch butterflies by the dozens. They fed on the thistle blooms and stayed for the majority of the summer.
We did eventually landscape that thistle patch which took over nearly most of the front of the house. It’s sad though because in our hurry to landscape, the Monarch butterflies also dwindled as they traveled away to find another food source.
Another patch of ‘flowers’ we let grown wild, where what we thought was a daisy. Beautiful tall stalks of lovely white daisies lined our driveway. We enjoyed them until one day our neighbours, who were environmental reclamation folks, took one look at our ‘daisy’ patch and cried that we shouldn’t be letting the Oxeye Daisy, an invasive weed, which is banned in several provinces take over our property! Unfortunately with this weed, if it spreads into pasture land, it can cause health concerns with cattle if they eat it. This was one weed we immediately pulled (it took months) off our property.
Weed are flowers too. They bring different colors to the landscape and even though they try to take over an area, they bring different life and joy with them. I became friends with the weeds, some were quite lovely when they bloomed. The universe is filled with beautiful bouquets of flowers. We try to eradicate the weeds that don’t fit with our norm of a landscaped society, but it’s not only humans who have a stake in the foliage that grows around. Many living creatures in nature need the life that the weeds offer, both above and below the soil.
I’m not so quick to disregard weeds anymore, I like to see how they grow and what they become. It’s amazing to see weeds blossom into something which attracts and sustains life to it.