Monday, August 4, 2014


 I am getting tougher, stronger, like a weed.
  Hope I'm a good weed as useful as clover, sweet as honeysuckle.
Here's some weeds I've been encountering this summer.

Honeysuckle vine

 In May and early June, honeysuckle vine grows along our woods.
 They're  very fragrant, and I take cuttings for my flower arrangements.
As children we liked to bite off the ends and suck the nectar.
 But I've seen it take over and strangle shrubs and vinca in gardens.
 Is it a good weed or a bad weed?


Notice this pretty blue flowered weed growing along roadsides?
It is chicory.   Also called Italian dandelion.
The young leaves are edible in salads and the roots are dug up,
washed and roasted, ground, then brewed as a coffee substitute.

Queen Anne's  Lace

 Queen Anne's Lace grows in fields at my warehouse,
and I like to cut it for adding to flower arrangements.
 It is the host plant for Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars
Wild Carrot, is another name for this plant,
 and it has medicinal uses and you can  even make a jelly with it,
 but you must be very careful!  Because it closely resembles Poison Hemlock,
 once used in ancient Greece to execute criminals, which Socrates was killed with.

 Always make sure you don't eat plants that you are not absolutely certain are safe.

Bishop's Weed

 I planted  Bishop's Weed in my yard too.
  It's a lovely  variegated groundcover 
that also is very invasive, but my friend has a circle garden full of it,
 and it stays contained in the edged, mulched area.    
Also called snow-on-the-mountain, and goutweed,
 I saw some at the Longwood Gardens.

Creeping Jenny

 I  now  love this pretty trailing plant in my backyard,
 around the paving stones,
 But I pulled it out  for three years, thinking it was just  a weed.
  Creeping Jenny is a pretty yellow flowering groundcover.
 I also saw this plant spilling out of a pot of flowers at Longwood Gardens.

                                                      The edible weed- Dandelion  Taraxacum Officinale
Actually, I eat these nutritious weeds, in salads,
 and cooked as a green vegetable, but they do have a bitter taste.
   Vineland, N.J. is the Dandelion Capitol of  the World . 
They have annual Dandelion Festivals celebrating it's culinary uses, 
Dandelion flower fritters,  a tea made from its dried roots, 
and they make delicious dandelion wine too!
 They were brought to America by the colonists as a garden vegetable. 

Trifoleum  replens is the true Shamrock

White Clover,  may be considered a weed in your lawn,
 because it attracts bees who could sting your bare feet. 
But it is persistent and hardy and has many benefits.
It serves well  as a cover crop, a living mulch between rows, 
 is a  nitrogen-producing soil builder, and an important pollen
 and nectar source for bees and butterflies.
It is also a valuable survival food, high in protein,
 and grows abundantly almost everywhere. 
It can be added to salads, or steeped into an herbal tea. 
Infused dried red clover blossoms are supposed to be good
 for lactation, Julie, and help the lymphatic system! 

Milkweeds are prevalent in our gardens, but I let some grow,
 because they are important food for the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
It is the "host plant"  for the Monarch butterflies, the only plant the
baby caterpillars can eat. .

Asclepias   or Common Milkweed

But when a weed grows where you don't want,  it's a pesky nuisance.
Many an hour I've spent pulling weeds!  Good exercise, right?
  Here's a popular weed-killer that's going around on Facebook,
My cousin Jeannie posted it,  and I tried it on the patio and it works!
  I'll try to find the origin to give credit due.

But  here's a stubborn weed that you'll probably need help with! 
 I never heard anything good about this  noxious weed!

   My worst nightmare! Poison Ivy grows everywhere and is hard to destroy.
  I've had several very bad cases of  itchy-oozy  poison ivy rashes through the years.
 I am extremely allergic. There are lots of people using organic weedkillers,
 but this plant is hard to kill and the roots must be killed.
 The toxic oils from the plant can get on your garden tools and pets too.
I've even heard of people getting allergic dermatitis from the wind blowing
the  plant's oils on them.
 I always wash well with strong detergent, when I think I've come in contact with it.
  Old timers swear by Fels Naptha Soap.
  To kill poison ivy, I use a glyphosate herbicide
 like Ortho brush-B-Gone Poison Ivy Killer Concentrate.
 Dig roots out only with extreme caution and protection, and never burn it!
 Tommy told me about a villian that Batman knows named Poison Ivy.

Poison Ivy, Batman's foe

Lego Batman character

On our daily walks, I try not to eat the wild mushrooms, berries, and dandelions
 in front of the kids, afraid they will think it's okay to eat any wild plants they see.
 If I pick something, Tommy cautions me, " be careful, that's poison ivy!"

 My sister Beverly was doing some playful trick  photography
 with a huge toadstool she found in her yard yesterday!

In my life, I need to be
"weeding out- Separating and getting rid of the unwanted."
 It makes more room and time for the good stuff.
I hope I can tell the difference, between what I should get rid of, and what I should keep!

  Happy Weeding!  Linda