Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Saturday, 1 August 2009

GBMD - Monstrous Weeds


In a grudging way, you have to admire the cheek of weeds. Without an invitation, they turn up anyway to the party and then proceed to take it over, elbowing out the delicate flower aesthetes who had gathered for an intellectual discussion of colour and texture.

They remind you how thin is the skim of garden over wilderness. Weeds were here first, and they don't want you to forget it. Turn your back and they creep silently back into their territory, garotting the newcomers as they advance...


... Fat hen, one of the commonest weeds of arable land, with succulent leaves and heads of small, bobbly green flowers, can carry up to 28,000 seeds on one plant. Most common weeds, such as groundsel or annual meadow grass, produce at least 500 seeds each.

Anna Pavord's Gardening Companion (1992 ). August - Monstrous Weeds.

Monstrous weeds have been my allotment's most successful crop this year and Anna Pavord sums it up for me completely. She's also made me realise that I've totally messed up my clearance strategy over the past month or so as I've been concentrating on the flowering groundsel and willowherb plants. Their flowers and fluffy seedheads are very noticeable and I thought if I cleared these I'd keep my allotment neighbours - not to mention the inspection committee - happy. However, I now see concentrating more on the pictured fat hen (Chenopodium album) probably would have been a better approach in the longer term. The link says it's an edible weed, being used widely until the 16th century when it was replaced by spinach and cabbage. Perhaps I should be trying out some recipes - fat hen soup anyone?

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day is hosted by Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.

5 comments:

  1. Fat hen soup does sound intriguing:) I mulched most of my flowerbeds, which keeps the weeding down, but not my new butterfly garden because I had sown so many seeds directly. Either I leave the weeds because I'm not sure if they are really a baby flower seedling, or I tear out the seedlings while I'm weeding. You can't win.

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  2. \my monstrous weed is bindweed. I do have all the others (creeping buttercup, couch grass, ground elder etc) in quantity, but it is bindweed that invades my dreams. Bastard. I long for snails to develop a taste for it.

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  3. Hey might work. Purslane is all the rage over here.

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  4. The flower part of my plot is more weeds than anything else which is why I've not shown any general views in my posts! It'll all be different next year...! xx

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  5. Rose - that sounds so familiar. That's why I rarely sow directly into the ground these days.

    Elizabethm - bindwind was a real pain here and up at the allotment too. Luckily they're relatively under control these days - fingers crossed

    Debbi - purslane's grown over here too!

    Flighty - that's a promise I've made to myself too!

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