Half of my garden is weeds. Seriously.

I intentionally planted cornflowers which is chicory. Spiderwort, goldenrod, Queen Anne’s lace, mullein, all of which can be pulled out of the roadside. Now I actually went out and paid money for cardoon.

Globe thistle.

I am going to have this all over the neighborhood if I am not careful. It’s like planting clover on purpose. Anybody who is proud of their lawn knows this nemesis. I didn’t plant any but before the weed/feed application a few weeks ago (right before flooding rains which thus rendered weed/feed useless) I am certain I saw the familiar creeping three-leafed formation in my front yard, of red clover. I also have some oxalis which cannot be eradicated, I don’t care how much you pull it out or use herbicide (which I will not use, only white vinegar).

I am not a weed hater. When you think about it most of the plants we love (especially natives) were once weeds until somebody liked something about them or found herbal healing properties and made it popular. So even dandelions if the leaves are large enough find their way into a salad of mine or wilted-greens casserole. My son has been known to caution acquaintances never to accept anything I pull from the ground. I do vaguely recall when he was very young on a walk one Saturday afternoon I spotted some wild lettuce and fed us each a bite of it. Upon returning home we slept the entire afternoon. Looking it up I discovered it has somnolent aspects.

But I digress. Many weeds have lovely flowers. St. John’s wort for instance has a bright sunburst flower that cheers even on the soggiest of days. It can’t help its invasiveness. Who wouldn’t want to share all that sunshine? I had a neighbor though who was terrified of snakes and certain every single one she saw was hiding in my blanket of shining golden stars. Nevermind that she still saw snakes even after I pulled out all those lovely healthy plants.

Most plants, when I first move to a new house I leave alone to see what they turn out to be. This proved disastrous in New Mexico one summer when I returned home after an extended time away to over-the-head weeds with unpleasant prickly stalks. It took about 6 hours to cut them all down, by hand each one, and then a healthy sum to have the piles carted away.

It’s alright. They were there first.