National Weed Appreciation Day

A mixed lawn of grass and herbs

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When I started researching this post, I thought I would just do the normal “don’t forget the weeds in your yard are there for a reason, love them.”  As I started thinking about the different “weeds” in my own yard and how I work with them, I realized there are many I don’t know yet. 

…the message of National Weed Appreciation Day is clear — appreciate them and try to find out about their value instead of just plucking them out.

National Today

Some of the weed friends in my yard are wood sorrel, viola, chickweed, and poke. I thought I would share a little about my relationship with each of these plants.

Pokeweed standing proud and tall

Poke and I have a strange relationship.  When we first moved to this house, I started seeing the strangest-looking plant that would get these blackberries.  I noticed that nothing really touches these plants.  This sent me on a quest to find out what it was.  After a lot of searching, I not only found out what they are but that they are a topic of much controversy.  Seems where I live most believe it is harmless if you prepare it correctly but in other places, it comes with a heavy warning.  I have been living and loving on this plant for 3 years now and I have yet to find someone local that has worked with it and knows how to prepare it correctly.  With each passing season, our relationship grows and changes, one day I will finally be ready to work with her.

Wood Sorrel

Wood sorrel, this lovely little weed drew my attention the first time by sending up these cute little pink flowers in the middle of the lawn.  They were so delicate and lovely, with the help of Seek I found out what they are called.  Now I encourage them to grow wherever they want; I love coming across them in the yard and having a taste.  This is normally how I work with this plant, with little talks, and tastes; I haven’t “harvested” it beyond a taste here and there.  I do want to learn more about sorrel and start working with them more since I love their citrus taste.

Violet
Violet

Viola is another one that drew my attention by shooting little purple flowers up in the lawn and in the garden.  I was surprised to see it not in a flowerbed but in the lawn, for I knew this plant on sight, it was one of the first I learned over 20 years ago, but I had never seen it growing wild.  Well, here in South Carolina sand violas love to grow everywhere.

Patch of chickweed against a concrete structure

Then we have one of my oldest friends, Chickweed; I think the only herb that goes back farther for me is Hibiscus. The delicate greenery and star white flowers always draw me in, I was so happy when I found her in the yard.  She grows where she wants, and I’m overjoyed the whole time she’s here. Sadly, she has a short life cycle in my yard, coming up in early to mid-March and disappearing in mid-April to early May; lucky she reappears again in the fall for another short visit.

You might think herbalists don’t see any plants as weeds to be removed or “deeply tamed” but that isn’t true, at least not for this one. I still fight with grass, Virginia creeper, wisteria, and a few others. The wisteria is the worst, it gets on trees and chokes them and it grows so fast; it can get out of hand in just a few months.

Wisteria choking a tree, this growth is from this year.

This topic also led me to investigate lawn replacement options once again and I found some people are using herbs to replace their lawns.  I’m very interested in this idea, Rita Buchana even talks about how to create a mixed lawn of herbs and grass which would be a dream come true.  Hubby gets his lawn and greenery and I get a biodiverse lawn that looks nice if not mowed, win-win.

I guess I should take a moment and talk about the famous weed for a moment, Cannabis.  This plant is like the ones I spoke about in the Plant a Flower Day.  It has the ability to create or crush a person or industry.  In my lifetime I have watched it go from being illegal across the country and being taught in school that it was the gateway drug to hard drugs like heroin. Then by my teen years, it was starting to be ok for medical use and now there are only 4 states left where it is “fully illegal” and only 7 that only allows CBD, so in the past 45 years it has gone from 50 states “fully illegal” to only four. And just as big or even bigger industry now than it was before.

So, always remember:

The only difference between a flower and a weed is the judgment

National Today

Duncan wrote us a little something for the day too

I Speak For The Weeds

They called me a weed as if saying it might
Make me feel somehow shameful, I’d hide from the light
But I won’t stop my growing, won’t cower in fright
They think I’m not needed, they are so far from right

Every weed has a purpose believe it or not
We come with a reason or more and we want
Nothing more than to just be given a shot
To survive and to thrive in this world for a spot

My brothers and sisters are right by my side
Some out in the open while others they hide
But we cover the landscape, near, far and wide
Young shoots and flowers growing with pride

They called me a weed and just look at me now
I stand tall and strong against all odds somehow
You can cut me and pull me and won’t take me down
I’ll continue to linger around

Duncan

I would love to hear, what your favorite weed is?

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