Monday, September 21, 2009

Is that a Weed in your Garden?

Weeding. The perennial chore (sorry, I couldn't resist). In my garden you have to be careful while weeding. Not because of the bees (they are well behaved), not because of the garter snake (she'll flee) but because what looks like a weed might not be a weed.

This looks like a grass but it's really a small garlic chive.

I let many of my plants go to seed.

The birds eat some of these seeds but others fall to the ground and germinate. Depending on the plant (and the location) this might be welcome or it might be a weed. That decision is up to me.

Garlic chives are notorious for seeding in so normally I would dead head them after blooming but I actually want a few more plants in the garden - I bought one and am letting it produce seeds.

This Labrador violet must have come from my planted violet. I can use more of those.

This is a young columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). I have two varieties in my garden and I'm not sure which this will be. Columbine is a steady re-seeder but not aggressively so. It can be fun to see where these pop up and how they combine with other plants in unexpected and unplanned ways.

This viola came from my neighbor's yard. It's either a yearly re-seeder or it's a perennial. Either way it's a cute little plant and not a problem showing up in the garden.

Other plants that might show up next year include Liatris (this is Kobold, another plant I'd like more of)

Asclepias tuberosa - these don't seed in regularly and when they do it's difficult to move them

Echinacea - often a good source of seed for hungry birds

Helenium 'Mardi Gras' - this might also feed the birds



So when I'm out weeding I slow down and think - do I know what that is? and do I want more of it? Not weeding may be the right choice.

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