2 December 2006


We have a lot of weeds.

weeds and wood

In addition to the obvious ones like blackberry, fennel, boneseed and English ivy, the brochure from the local Council has helped me to identify a few others. For example, around here willows, sweet pittosporum, prunus, hawthorn, gazania and broom are all noxious weeds.

weeds and a fence

In our inner-city garden we had agapanthus, iris, freesias, nasturtiums, arum lilies and honeysuckle, all of which are weeds in this area. Funny how plants I used to grow and enjoy now appear threatening. I tut-tut when I see neighbours growing nasturtiums on purpose. I whistled in amazement when I saw (courtesy of old trashy magazines in the doctor’s waiting room) Princess Mary’s wedding flowers included agapanthus, presumably to make her feel at home in snowy cold Denmark.

quaking grass & web

We are gradually taming the blackberries and ivy, with the assistance of a Council weed removal scheme.

pretend snake

The boys and I have spent two weekends pulling out and chopping up the boneseed.

feathery weed

And every time I set foot outside I pull up a few grasses.


This week I glanced at the calendar and noticed that we were on Flower Duty for Son #3’s class.

I wonder if the teacher recognised that half the bouquet gathered from my garden was made up of weeds?


herhimnbryn said...

Weeds are beautiful are they not? I think that Shaker grass is a tiny sculpture on each stem.

--erica said...

I love that bouquet! Weeds are only weeds if you don't want them.

I swear I thought that picture #4 was a SNAKE though! ah.

String Bean said...

Well, aren't you supposed to use what you have on hand? If life gives you weeds, make weed bouquets.

Erica's right, too. They're only weeds if you don't want them. Anything can be a weed. I, personally, think those awful Rhododendrons that the previous owner planted all over the yard are an abomination unto all flowering shrubs. Ick.

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

I read once, in one of those very posh gardening magazines I have no hope of emulating, that "any plant in the wrong spot is a weed". I think the speaker was talking about how they'd dug up a 50 year old magnolia because it spoiled the view to the tennis courts or somesuch.

My point is, these weeds are all native somewhere. But only your photos can really make them seem beautiful.

Joke said...


Blackberry is a weed?


Elizabeth said...

Freesia are noxious weeds?
We pay through the nose for them at the florists here.

blackbird said...

and what IS this grand scheme?
just pulling them out?

sooz said...

Yeah, the weed thing. It is true that any plant in the wrong place is a weed, when you see what a quick spreading plant can do to knock out the plant diversity of an area.

My idea of heaven is to be surrounded by blackberries, fennel and freesias. Fennel and lamb salad with blackberries afterwards and a lovely vase of freesias to look at while I pig out. *Sigh* Do you at least get to eat some of the bits you are battling?

capello said...

love your weeds. beats the heck out of my onion grass and echinachea.

Janet said...

I'm devastated that shaker grass (?) is a weed, for some reason I thought it was a native.

I've been having a long term internal dilemma with weeds. One one hand some of these plants have low water needs and will look OK in our inner city garden even if neglected, on the other they spread into bushland crowding out naturual species and turning the bush into well, not bush.

Not that we're near any bush here. Although birds can carry seeds a long way. And thinking that a plant is OK in one situation probably increases the risk that it will be spread to another.

Lovely pictures all the same. I also thought pic #4 was a snake. shudder.

nutmeg said...

I've been thinking of using gazanias in my new garden as they are so water hardy. It was a bit shocking to see it listed as a weed. But as has been said here, anything is a weed if it starts to spread uncontrolably (sp?).

I very much like your bouquet.

Stomper Girl said...

I'm a black-thumb, I need help identifying weeds.
I spent virtually every summer of my growing years being hauled out at least once by my mother for a day of blackberrying under the hot sun so that she could make delicious jams and sorbets. She'd freeze the rest so we could enjoy them over the next few months as dessert with icecream. So I always feel a bit sad that they're considered a weed, even though I quite see that they are here in Australia.

kt said...

Oooh, the bouquet is divine.

I remember vey distinctly the day I learned that an agapanthus ias called an agapanthus. A very unhappy woman came into our office after having been poked in the eye with a stem whilst gardening!

Nasty corneal abrasion, which healed. She came back for a follow-up visit a few days later and told me she'd ripped them all out of her yard!

Anita said...

We have a weed in our (UK) garden which has big, thick, hairy green leaves with flowers of a beautiful blue. It is a complete pain to get rid of because it has a long, thick root like a carrot and you have to get the whole lot out without breaking it. If it snaps, it all grows again really quickly. So although a weed is something that grows where you don't want it to, this plant represents weeds to me because you have to wage war against it to try to eliminate it. Your bouquet is gorgeous, flipping the concept of the plants as a nuisance into something to admire. I really enjoy reading your blog, especially your recent trials of the family visit!

MsCellania said...

Jaysus! That snake in the one photo got me -

One man's weeds are another man's flowers. I say.

Hulai said...

I swear I thought that stick was a snake!! Great pictures!

shellyC said...

With such tight water restrictions at the moment - If it is green and growing then it is staying in my garden!!!

Suse said...

Ha, yes that stick gave me a shock when I looked at the photos!

Yes, blackberries are a dreadful weed here. They take over the bushland at a frightening rate. When we moved here we picked the autumn crop (blackberry jam was blogged about I do believe) and then called the Council in with their weed scheme. They pay for the spray (that way they control which sprays are used in the region and they are a very greenie-type Council, so good sprays were used) and we pay for the labour. The blackberry bushes are now all dead and Mr Soup has spent several weekends smashing them down, now we have to work out how to get rid of them. Huge thorny canes, they are. Vicious things.

Freesias (the common cream ones) are a weed, sadly. Sob.

And yes, the Large Quaking Grass is a terrible weed too. We have heaps of it and although I love to look at it, it must come out.

Anita, is your weed borage, I wonder?

Sonia said...

Beautiful those weeds photos!