I’m fighting an ongoing battle with weeds in my garden right now. It’s that time of year with more regular water and fertilizing going on out there in the yard, so I guess that’s the price I have to pay. I just have to stay vigilant so they don’t take over!
Since we’re on the subject of weeds, here’s a bunch of weed miscellany:
Weeds are self-sustaining in a number of ways.
- by growing very fast, often smothering other plants to get the most light, minerals and water
- by producing lots of seeds and having lots of different ways of spreading them around
- by germinating their seeds quickly
- by producing seeds that survive over several years
- by having effective defense systems that protect them from being eaten by animals or picked by people; for example, stinging nettles
- by multiplying in more ways than one, usually making new plants along their stems
More interesting Weed facts:
Stinging nettles are often used in herbal medicine for cleaning the body and making the heart work better. Nettles are packed full of vitamin C and new shoots are often used to make tea.
There are many superstitions linked to weeds. For example, if you hold a buttercup under your chin and a yellow shadow appears, it means you like butter. Or, finding a four-leaf clover brings good luck. And if you touch a dandelion you will wet the bed! The French word for dandelion is Pissenlit, which directly translated means ‘wee in bed’.
Weeds such as wild carrot, cow parsley and celery grow at least 350 seeds on a single flower-head.
Wild clematis grows climbing, sprawling stems up to 30m long (100ft) – that’s about 20 people from top to toe!
The world’s largest weed is the giant hogweed, from Central Asia. It reaches 3.65m (12ft) in height and has leaves 91cm (36in) long.
A 14-leaved red clover and a 14-leaved white clover were both discovered in the US and both made it to the Guinness Book of Records.
Finally, weeds for thought:
A man’s children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season.
- Author Unknown
A man’s nature runs either to herbs, or to weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.
- Francis Bacon
A good garden may have some weeds.
- Thomas Fuller
And what is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
- Doug Larson
A weed is but an unloved flower.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people’s idea, not nature’s.
- Author Unknown
But make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last.
- Robert M. Pyle
Call us not weeds. we are flowers of the sea.
- Mrs. E.L. Aveline
Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons.
- Dave Barry
He who hunts for flowers will finds flowers; and he who loves weeds will find weeds.
- Henry Ward Beecher
I always think of my sins when I weed. They grow apace in the same way and are harder still to get rid of.
- Helena Rutherfurd Ely
Many gardeners will agree that hand-weeding is not the terrible drudgery that it is often made out to be. Some people find in it a kind of soothing monotony. It leaves their minds free to develop the plot for their next novel or to perfect the brilliant repartee with which they should have encountered a relative’s latest example of unreasonableness.
- Christopher Lloyd
They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I’ve concluded weeds must have brains.
- Dianne Benson
We can in fact only define a weed, mutatis mutandis, in terms of the well-known definition of dirt – as matter out of place. What we call a weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it.
- E.J. Salisbury
You must weed your mind as you would weed your garden.
- Astrid Alauda
And then there’s the other Weed. This comes up a lot when you Google the word Weed!