Weeds’ Imperceptible Beauty

14 04 2013

IMG_4567   Shotweed

Spring in the Pacific Northwest floods us with rain, sun, and a healthy display of weeds. Between my busy schedule and desire to do something—anything—other than weed while the weather cooperates, my yard morphs into a look that, frankly, I don’t want to see. Grass variations blanket my property like a badly gifted quilt. It grows where I don’t need it and wears bare where I do (similar to men’s hair—so I’m told). I digress.

Moss   Moss

Moss covers flowerbeds and brick pathways. Bare feet beware: Moss dries way slower than concrete, a squishy surprise for the soles. Those small clover patches, excused because they presented occasional four-leafers, creeps through the grass and produces an obscene amount of the ordinary which evolve into clover flowers. Bee heaven. Multiple bees in my vicinity cause shrieking and dashing into the house. Am I embarrassed? Only when I outrun the kids.

IMG_4280   Clover

And then there are dandelions. Admit it, we all have them. These leafy herbs gain strength, undetected at the base of grass, forming an indiscreet bud. Innocent enough, right? Um, no! Those buds open into yellow flowers, shameful blemishes in our American landscapes. Within days, flowers become wishes, tiny seeds that float in the air only to spread mass destruction on well-maintained properties. Those wishes are too tempting to be ignored by children who just have to take a deep breath and blow as hard as their little lungs will allow. Meanwhile, home landscapers run wide-eyed yelling, “no” without success. The damage is done. One unspoken wish ensures dandelions will live on forever.

IMG_4499  Dandelion        IMG_4093  Wish

We have one unifying goal: Eradicate these intruders. I, however, encourage you to put the sprayer or hand tool down for a moment and observe them intently. Upon closer inspection, as with anything, inconspicuous beauty is revealed. Don’t overlook something’s charm because it doesn’t align with your perception of worth. In this case, a closely examined weed just might be the most remarkable plant in your yard.

I’m certainly not advocating that we allow aggressive roots a permanent residence, only that we appreciate the positives during their brief invasion. Then, with whatever method best executes the deed, eliminate all that is noxious.

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