Saturday, August 6, 2011

In Defense of Weed

Let me start off by saying I do not have a problem. Each person is entitled to his or her own tastes and habits, as long as it isn't hurting others. I like weed. I have always liked weed. And my preference for weed does not significantly impact others.

Weed, I see, is not everyone's cup of peyote tea. I live in a progressive community, but people seem to make a concerted effort to keep weed away from their yards--both front and back. I know it is important to keep up appearances, but are these townfolk too repressed to see a thing of beauty when it is right under their noses? And I don't mean their proverbial noses. My leafy 'burb is very much a stop-and-smell-the-roses type of place, but in public, they turn their noses up at weed. Many score the desired result by hiring others so as to keep their own hands clean. What they grow privately behind closed doors, I do not know.

Let me further explain myself. I grew up thinking Dandelions were the most beautiful flowers in the world. The feathery yellow petals, that yielded to a magical grey fuzz in the flower's waning days. How fun is it to blow the puff into the wind? Totally worth the ensuing allergy attack. My second favorite flower was the Buttercup. A multiitasking growth if I ever saw one. Cheerful to look at, and an organic face paint, to boot. If you have never rubbed a Buttercup on your chin to make a sunny stain, you simply must the next chance you get.

So imagine my surprise--horror, actually--when my horticultural tastes were mocked for being pedestrian. Dandelions and Buttercups are not flowers, I was told years ago by an excitable know-it-all, they are weeds. After an initial period of shock, and a quick Kubler-Ross cycle (sorry, I don't know how to do an umlat on my Mac keyboard), my reaction was, "Says who?" Seriously, who decides which fauna are horticulturally acceptable and which need to literally be weeded from existence? Are they the same people who give roses those sappy names? I have seen entire gardens of people who have paid dearly to have a wide assortment of unattractively scrawny and thorny "drought-tolerant" plants flown in from far-flung places. We have exotic "ground cover" that was chosen by an unbearably pretentious British landscape architect that I find so viscerally annoying that I yank it from the ground whenever I have had a bad day (Note: Our garden usually is bereft of ground cover. I have a lot of bad days.).

Well, friends, neighbors, and those checking out my lawn on Google Earth, I will continue to derive pleasure and calm from weed. I know some will take a NIMBY (or NIMFY) attitude. But I think my friends of neighbors with a more liberal bent (and, thankfully, that makes up approximately 98 percent of my neighborhood), will tolerate my penchant for weed. Perhaps they, too, see the beauty in an elegant Dandelion. Shakespeare, the artsy liberal bard himself, knew that it doesn't matter what you call something, its intrinsic sublimity will shine through. I bet he was a fan of the lovely, delicate Buttercup, knowing that which we call a weed by any other name would be as sweet.


  1. I have no horticultural preferences at all, but I may use this argument the next time I feel too lazy to prune the yard of all those "unwanted" intruders.

  2. Hi, Doug! Love your latest blog! I think your son may have weeding potential! Train him young! Thanks for stopping by. Take care, Karen :)

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  4. I prefer weed. They don't die on me. Everything else I touch turns brown.

    PS, I think ismail123 is looking for more information on how to grow weed Karen.

    Maybe a weedquel?

    ~cath :D

  5. Hi, Cath! When I started college, my mother gave me my first-ever plant. I watered it several times a day so it wouldn't die. She knew I probably would forget to water a plant and selected a "drought-tolerant" plant. It died within the month. Enough said. :) Take care--Karen :)

  6. Hi, ismail123--Thanks for visiting my blog! Hope you continue to find useful information on it! Best, Karen