Some days I love to garden. Other days, not so much. I had my backyard flower garden looking terrific, weeds under control, flowers blooming. My green thumb was vibrating with joy. But weeds, being weeds, are never truly under control. They grow again from invisible seeds dropped by the plant you thought you pulled up last week. Sigh. Another day of weed pulling is on the horizon.
From what I read in gardening articles, weeds are simply plants that are not growing where you want them. In my opinion, however, some flowering plants are always weeds. I have friends who disagree. They are kind-hearted and would not harm anything, even a dandelion. But weeds are plants great at math. They multiply, divide, and reproducing themselves quickly. They subtract nutrients from the soil and crowd out desirable plants that are not as prolific.
For example, Queen Ann’s Lace is a white, flowering weed that seems to grow from most anything, root, seed, or evil thought. I suppose they are attractive as they do resemble other desirable plants. But who in their right mind would encourage a devil flower that can choke the life out of a field or pasture and continue to look innocent while doing it. If I have an urge to see these flowers, I can find all I want in vacant lots and along roadsides. I doubt I could enjoy them, however, as I know them for the wolf in sheep’s clothing that they are — or should I say weed in a flower’s clothing?
Black Eyed Susans are almost as bad. They are yellow daisy-like and attractive, but can quickly take over a flower bed. They reseed themselves or grow from roots. Most prolific plants can reproduce in more than one way. Last year, I decided to pull up all my Susans and get rid of them. I later missed their sunny faces in my garden. I need not have worried. Two or three roots escaped eradication and they soon were taking over again. I seem to always grow flowers that are bullies.
Primrose is a pink wildflower that blooms early then turns into unattractive foliage. I do well, too well, with wildflowers. My zinnias, which are tame but supposedly easy to grow, were a massive crop failure. Last year I grew dozens, but this year I have one. Yes, ONE zinnia out of the many seeds that I planted.
In my sorrow, I decided to plant Morning Glories. They are climbing the fence right now, putting out foot-long sprouts overnight. I’m still waiting for the gorgeous blue flowers that were shown on the seed package. I have a feeling I am going to hate myself for planting them. Already they are going wild, and you know what happens after that.
The sunflowers that I thought were growing from spilled seed at the bird feeder turned out to be mystery weeds. They are six feet tall and have tiny yellow blooms instead of the giant flowers I expected. And to think, I’ve watered them and even staked up one that fell over. Now I have to pull them up.
A recent success is Four O’clock flowers. I picked up a package of tubers at the hardware store and they have grown like — well — weeds forming bush-like shrubs. They are covered with flowers of all colors, sometimes several colors on the same bush. Unfortunately, they only bloom in late evening. I read that they readily reseed themselves as well as growing from tubers. That figures.
So, if you know of an attractive “wildflower,” I’m taking suggestions. I need something to replace the mystery weeds that were pretending to be sunflowers. Maybe I could plant some coneflowers, field daisies, or wild lilies?
Oh, what the heck, I might as well plant Queen Ann’s Lace and forget it.