I have heard the saying, “Weeds are flowers that don’t know that they have to grow in a row”. Well, I have found a new respect for this common plant – my new name for a weed.
The Dictionary defines a weed: weed |wiːd|noun: “a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.” Well, that is not always true. I have a place for “weeds” in my garden and they are very much wanted. Nettles is one common plant that I use often to make teas and green fertiliser. Plantain is a very, very nutritious common plant and has yet to reveal its many benefits. Thistle and Dandelion are used in herbal medicine and bring the bees.Weeds bring nutrition back to the soil when we have stripped it from natural minerals. Some have deep roots so they can take up the minerals deep from within the soil, bringing it to the surface. Some have shallow roots and keep the soil from eroding. You will see them work their wonders when you look at road works – the bare ground will quickly form a carpet of green and these are weeds starting their magic! If we take care and learn about Mother Nature, she has a purpose for these hard workers, and I hope we will treat these common plants with much more dignity and respect.
Well, we forget that they don’t need us – they grow anywhere, they are able to find nutrition from any waste area.
The Sow-Thistle is a well-known weed in every field and garden. It is a perennial, growing from 1 to 3 feet high, with hollow thick, branched stems full of milky juice, and thin, oblong leaves, more or less cut into (pinnatifid) with irregular, prickly teeth on the margins. The upper leaves are much simpler in form than the lower ones, clasping the stem at their bases.
Habitat: Spiny Sow Thistle propagates from re-seeding. It grows in many waste places, accepts various soils, most to slightly dry conditions, but needs full sun. Sow thistles got their name because they were fed to lactating pigs. They love them, as do rabbits which is why they are sometimes called Hare Thistles.
What weeds do you see often?? What benefit can you think of??
Happy gardening xxxx