There certainly is a feeling of smugness when you look at a dark, damp, normally sun starved garden and see the amount of new life appearing. The greenhouse is chock-a-block with seedlings and packets of seeds waiting to be sown. There is also the pleasure of seeing someone else go off with a box full of my excess plants knowing nothing is wasted.
The pond is thick with duckweed which I can’t do anything about meantime. It’s very early to have so much of it but the frogs are happy and there’s not much sign of frog spawn now, so the tadpoles will be very happy. Once the little fellas grow a bit more into little froglets, I can lift some of the duckweed. I usually leave it for a day or two at the edge of the pond for any trapped wildlife to escape. It dries very quickly and makes very good addition to the compost bin.
There is a reasonable amount of weeds, or perhaps I should say ‘wild flowers’ in the garden and as long as they are happy to get along with everything else without invading my space, they can remain. They do play a part in the eco system but I do have to cull them occasionally as I do any of the plants which overstretch their limits.
It sounds good to say I have equisetum arvense or convolvulus arvensis but these are not exotic plants but in fact, they are the curse of many a gardener. Their deep roots are reckoned to bring up vital minerals to the surface and in that case, I should have the best looking and healthiest garden on the planet.
Since my garden is only a few feet away from an old railway embankment, it isn’t surprising that there are so many of these invasive plants. I was told that they were introduced by the railway companies to assist in stabilising the railway embankments because of their network of root systems.
Surprisingly enough, horsetail is reckoned to be one of the wonder plants and is accredited in helping to ease a long list of ailments, it’s silicon content can aid in healing bone fractures. It’s one of the most diuretic plants, has restorative properties relating to almost every organ in the body so perhaps we should look at it more appreciatively and instead of reaching for the weed killer, reach for the kettle.
Bindweed is a different matter, it is the wolf in sheep’s clothing of plants. A beautiful flower almost as if it smiles as it strangles the plants. It has the evil intention of starving the plants of moisture, nutrients and sunlight as it pins them down to ground level. It has been suggested that it’s best to try to beat it at it’s own game, cover as much of the ground as possible with sunlight blocking substance, bark, cardboard, plastic etc. and grow melons, squash and pumpkins to provide extra shade and soak up the sunshine instead. Brambles with their thorny stems would be good too if they weren’t so invasive themselves, but at least they make good wine and jam.
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