Friday, May 1, 2009
A Celebration of Weeds
A soft warm day after rain (YAY!!!). The kind of weather that makes grass grow fast. So I hurried over to Congress Park, just a block from my house, to catch some of my favorite weeds in bloom before the mad mowers descend. It happens every year. Just as the wildflowers are blooming in glorious profusion along the edges of the park -- Cuckoo Flower, Lily of the Valley, Ajuga, Ground Ivy, Buttercups, Forget-me-nots, Bird's-eye Speedwell, Strawberry, Canada Anemone, Golden Alexanders (an incredibly beautiful mix!) -- somebody comes along and mows them all down. Now, why do they think a boring shorn bank is better than loveliness run wild? They spend thousands each year in plantings for the formal gardens the park is famous for, but seem to be blind to the bounty Mother Nature offers for free.
Here's my idea of a perfect lawn: Ground Ivy and Dandelions. What could be prettier? And when mown, the ivy gives off the most delicious herby-minty fragrance.
Add a few Cuckoo Flowers for variety. So dainty, with lacy foliage and tiny pink buds that open into tender white blooms.
Corn Speedwell is so tiny, most folks never notice it, tucked down among the grass blades. But if they looked, how could they miss its intensely vivid blue? (This blossom is about the same size as the head of a pin.)