Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Weed By Any Other Name...

The definition of a weed is "any troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted." I have always known that. I have taught that.

In the last few days, I have spent a large amount of my time ridding the yard of what I perceive to be weeds. Just to clarify, I am no gardener. It's not something I particularly enjoy. I like to plant flowers, make the space look attractive every spring, and that's all. Weeding is right up there on my yuck list along with toilet cleaning and window washing. 

When we first planned the back garden of the house, we decided on a tree or two, a couple of shrubs, a few perennials and some annuals as fillers. I love annuals. They're gorgeous and vivid and dense and fresh and you can change your accent colour every year. They're especially perfect for people who like variety or want to keep their yard trendy in the latest fashionable hues.

I really didn't ever understand the concept of "perennial" except that I knew that they were a costlier type of plant. My idea of gardening was to shove a few geraniums, impatiens and petunias in whatever empty spaces I had.

Once our trees and shrubs were in place, off I went to find some aesthetically pleasing perennials. I left, armed with no information, so I asked one of the puzzled looking sales people for the "perennial section". I made my selections based on colours, height and interesting scientific names. This, as it turned out, was an error.

I have now spent a considerable amount of time removing some of the perennials from the lawn. They have not only spread across the flower beds, but have most likely infested the neighbours' yards, just as their raspberries have sprouted all through ours. And don't even get me started on the 1996 plant of the year. Why are people obsessed with the hosta? It takes more than Jack in the beanstalk's axe to remove one of those. Can you say, "dynamite"?  So, again, perennials cost more why? 

I have no idea what this thing is in my photo. It looks like the molten lava of perennials. It should probably be in a rock garden. I have pulled it out in clumps. It grows wherever it drops. I remember liking the shade of yellowy green when I originally purchased the very small plant. Despite my aggressive efforts, it has now crept across two flower beds and onto the lawn.

This is an attractive enough flower, but again, it has spread beyond acceptable boundaries. It shouldn't be up to me to tell it to exercise some self control and quit being so prolific.

I like plants that grow from bulbs. I guess they too are considered perennials, although I find that the bulbs are more easily contained and the flowers are often prettier. I love the first signs of spring...crocus, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and allium. I also really like whatever this is.

So I suppose, as the expression goes, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I, however, still maintain that a weed by any other name is... a perennial.

This is my "annual" colour of the year.

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