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The recent damp weather has been ideal for weeding – reasonably mild, soil just damp enough to tease roots out of the borders.

I can never quite decide how much weeding to do. It’s a bit like ironing – if can get away with leaving it … I do.

It’s a perennial question (no pun intended) when is a weed a weed? I have many wild and self-seeded visitors in my garden. Generally, if they look presentable, are well behaved and don’t threaten the other inhabitants they are welcome to stay, at least until they outstay (i.e. outgrow) their welcome.

Here are some of my present “guests”


Well now – they are very good for certain butterflies, so they can stay. They are jutting over the path a bit, though, so they’ll be cut back to save on stings.

Campanula with the unpronounceable name!

These are very pretty. I pull them out of the borders regularly (not that it makes a great deal of difference) but they can definitely stay growing against the house wall. (They do appear up through the dining room floor occasionally, but hey – you can’t have everything!)

??? (oxalis?)

This always looks as if it is something else, or it’s going to do something interesting, but it never does. I’m a bit half-hearted about pulling this out – there’s nothing else at the back of this border (perhaps because of the oxalis(?) …hmmm…) It also combines well with the speedwell, don’t you think?

Ouch – couch!

You can tell how well I deal with this. Definitely not welcome.

Herb Robert

Ahhh – so pretty, so delicate… And fortunately, easy to pull up! This is definitely only tolerated in the right place. It is lovely while flowering, but incredibly prolific and grows to surprising proportions.


As seen above. In the lawn I tolerate it (a bit) because of its lovely tiny blue flowers. But in the border, it romps away and grows much larger and far less prettily. I have stacks and stacks of it. It’s not difficult to pull up – it’s just a never-ending story.


The couch is hiding a multitude in part of my herb bed. I have scores of lovely crocuses growing here in the Spring. But by the time the foliage has died down, there are lots of other things that have to be sorted out. It looks pretty untidy but never seems to do any lasting damage. I can’t get parsley to survive, though (although I have read that that is because I don’t wear the trousers… shan’t go down that route)


Well now – the one “weed” I love to bits, and I regularly and religiously cut it down. (But it always returns to welcome and be welcomed!)

How do your weeds grow?

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lovely blog. I think the plant you think is oxalis is infact a thalictrum or meadow rue. Some are stunning with huge flowers. some have small insignificant flowers. the foliage is pretty though.

20 May, 2013


Thanks, Sbg! And thanks for the info - I was never confident about my identification of that plant. You're right, though, the foliage is rather pretty (and deceptively promising!)

20 May, 2013


I must be odd. I enjoy weeding and ironing ... I find them both very relaxing things to do :o)
I leave the 'pretty' weeds - well they are just wild flowers really ...

21 May, 2013


I agree, Hywel, as long as there isn't too much! Both are good for mulling over matters, useful 'thinking' time.
I try to take a relaxed stance over weeds, but recently the dandelions have rattled me .... their garish yellow flowers turn to seed-bearing clocks far too quickly. Year on year they are getting the upper hand, as is bindweed. the latter first appeared in my beech hedge and has gradually spread under the soil to the other side of my veg patch. I try to dig every little piece out as soon as a shoot peaks out of the soil but I fear the weather in recent years has been on its side. A blistering summer followed by a dry winter would help!

21 May, 2013


Yes a nice blog,
I also enjoy weeding, it's a bit like driving once your on your way your using indicators, lights/wippers and never really think your turning them on (once your a little more experienced)

when i weed im thinking of all sorts of things "But" if i get one of those well spread out weeds that once its pulled it clears so much ground!

"you feel good knowing you've cleared so much with one pull"

One of my dogs "lottie" like to sit next to me for a while and im sure she wonders what the hell im doing.

Ahh the joys of gardening and animals.

21 May, 2013


Thanks, Dungy! I do enjoy weeding, actually - I just also enjoy a lot of the weeds! And ironing's ok, Hywel, as long as there's not too much of it...

21 May, 2013


hate ironing, don't mind weeding, anything to do with gardening is fine for me. I have nettles in the garden for the butterflies to lay their eggs. lots of other weeds and boy do I know about it today, have been out there sorting some of them out today, sore knees now. lol :

21 May, 2013


I don't mind ironing or weeding. I go out and weed each night after work, so there's never too much to deal with at once, and there's such a sense of satisfaction when the borders are weeded:)

21 May, 2013


Absolutely, Louisa! The interesting thing about maintaining a natural-looking "laid-back" garden is that you actually have to keep quite an eye on it! If I left it entirely to its own devices, all the thugs would take over and the more refined residents would perish. So it needs watching carefully. Even the "weeds" I love need some control. And I find it very satisfying, tinkering away, producing my own version of nature. But of course - that's what gardening is all about, isn't it?

21 May, 2013


enjoy gardening, weeding when its done and can be seen to have been done is great. and as for ironing best way to de-stress. the ironing board is the face of the person who has been winding me up. But the satisfaction of seeing a large pile of un-ironed stuff whittled down to 3 neat tidy piles is great. hate putting it away though.

21 May, 2013


Lol! I wouldn't want to wind you up, Sbg!

21 May, 2013


people still do but hey ho Better to iron than get an asbo!

22 May, 2013



22 May, 2013


I once regarded all plants, except the trees I grew, as weeds.
Any other species of trees were weeds, too. They were competing with those I'd planted.
If you like it in your garden, wild or not, it's a plant.
If not it's a weed.
Is this some ancient ritual? Lol.

22 May, 2013


Honesty, violets, daisies, poppies, foxgloves, evening primrose etc, etc. All treasured in my garden (and in my Mum's - some of her neighbours rip them out at the first sign!)

Least said about ironing, the better...!

23 May, 2013


The most prolific weed in my garden in the tiny Euphorbia Peplus. If I neglect a small patch for a bit, it is covered in a carpet of those tiny plants!

4 Jun, 2013


Ah yes - I know that one! It's a successful little blighter, isn't it?

4 Jun, 2013


Love this blog and all the replies! I let garlic mustard and nettles grow for the butterflies and I turn a blind eye to the ivy on my fence, up to a point, because I always have tiny blue butterflies from there. There are plenty of other wild plants in my garden simply because I can no longer do as much as I used to but if they are helping wildlife I'll try not to worry too much! I have a little slope which has covered itself in bird's eye, chickweed and red dead nettle and the amount of insects on those is surprising.

13 Apr, 2021


Thank you, Pennyfarthing! I was surprised by a notification (in my junk folder!) that I had a reply on GoY. I am afraid I haven’t checked in for years 😕. I really should. I’d forgotten this blog. It raised a smile - I could have written it last week! All the usual suspects are present and correct in my garden!

1 May, 2021


I could write this today too!
I hope you are keeping well Meichisedec.

2 May, 2021


Just been reading your blog and I thought it was an up to date post - it could be! Lovely read.
I like weeding, it’s quite relaxing...ironing -no! Only iron when I have to!

2 May, 2021

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