Beautiful weeds

On the BBC Gardeners’ World programme on Friday night (Choice TV, free-to-air digital channel 12) Monty Don described a fern he had planted in his garden as a “beautiful weed”.

There are plants like that, aren’t there? They may be things we have introduced into our gardens ourselves or they may be something that has blown through the fence or been dropped by a bird.

Forget-me-nots herald the start of spring.

At this time of the year I love my forget-me-nots – by December I dislike them intensely. They become mildewed and manky and the seed burrs get everywhere (which is why they’re such good survivors).

Cineraria is another that self-seeds all over the place. Lots of bright colour but I’ve taken to pulling them out if I think they’re in the wrong place. And it looks like the California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) that come with the wildflower seeds might be heading the same way.

Japanese anemone or windflower.

But self-seeded annuals are relatively easy to control compared to Japanese anemones – one New Zealand blog blithely says “just dig or pull them out”. Yeah, right. They send out shoots off underground runners which, hard experience has taught me, can run under a wide terrace of bricks and pop up in the lawn on the other side! Pouring hot water on the growing plant slows it down, for a bit.

The flowers are very pretty (pink or white on tall stems) and come at a good time, in late summer and autumn, but I wish I’d never planted them.

Do you have beautiful weeds in your garden? Hit the reply link below and let me know.

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