In my Garden – weeds or friends?
I am not a gardener, in that, I don’t do pretty, manicured lawns and fancy flowers. But I do find the basics of manual gardening cathartic and gardening is supposed to be good for you, so this is my little weekly slot sharing what’s in my garden. This week, weeds or friends? What some people consider weeds, others would say they need to stay in our garden to benefit the insect life. It’s a tough decision sometimes.
Our garden is a tricky one because of the soil quality, and also a permanent issue with a weed we have called Green Alkanet. Some people would consider it a plant and keep it, and in fact, it has herbal uses and its flowers can be used to decorate food and are edible, but it is a very pernicious plant and grows easily, takes over space, has very hard to remove deep roots and because where we live has several gardens that have been allowed to go totally wild, and this grows and thrives there, it’s a permanent problem. It attracts insects but it’s also a pain when it takes over your garden if you want to grow other things or keep the place tidy.
Because we have cats and our neighbours have free range ducks and chickens and we also have other wildlife in our garden, I don’t use chemical weed killers. Instead, I manually pull up pesky weed plants. Hard labour, a constant job, but part of the work of keeping the garden tidy.
Removing this little lot took me nearly two hours, to make sure all roots were lifted. Fun. Theses weeds are definately not friends.
But we do have a “weed” growing in our garden that I do like.
Three-cornered garlic. Or it can be known as garlic weed and a few other names. It’s not exactly the same as wild garlic, which we also have in our garden, but can be used in cooking and can be eaten. It’s a bit more onion-like in taste and works well in salads. I have picked some to try and dry it to use. It smells like a mix between leek and garlic to me. It’s also quite pretty and I have been told it can be called “white bluebells” too.
It’s sometimes hard to balance, when you want to make your garden friendly to wildlife and insects and be kinder to the environment, with keeping the garden tidy and also not letting invasive weeds take over. Because we live near someone who doesn’t maintain their garden, a lot of weeds do try to encroach beyond into the gardens around them. Our neighbours have resorted to concrete and gravel to suppress weeds, but we have opted to not do that and manage for now.
Now, if I could find a way to deal with the snails and slugs that like to try and eat our plants that would be helpful. Any ideas?