Friday, 18 May 2012


The first task for the new Prairie Garden was to deal with weeds. And what weeds they were. Are. 
Part of the terrace was covered in imported soil in which I’d earlier noted a few weeds. When the time came to get cracking, I realised saying “a few weeds” was a bit like saying “My neighbours aren’t too great” and living in a trailer park with Freddy Kruger, Fred West and Anders Brevik....
The hearty mixture included plenty of  bindweed, half a dozen different thistles, and kikuyu. Utter bêtes noires of the plant world...

All that careful tugging, digging, lugging and slicing gave me time to think.  On day three it struck me... some of them are actually quite beautiful. Bindweed is but a hardy white Morning Glory.  Thistles, especially Onopordums, are regularly used by fashionable garden designers: - how farmers must scoff at those ruiners of pastures standing proud in artificial meadows at the Chelsea Flower Show.

But it goes to show, look closely and you might just find beauty in unexpected places. I got my macro lenses out and had a look:

The fabulously-named white ramping fumitory, Fumaria capreolata

Above and right: yellow hawkweed, Hierachium pratense

A wild mignonette, Reseda spp

Lawn daisy - Bellis perennis
Erigeron karvinskianus - "wall daisies" 

Scarlet pimpernell being well, not very scarlet...

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