I grow weeds

2014 07 27 aquilegia jpg sig Aquilegia

Today, in the sun, I picked up the hose connected to the garden tap, and turned it on and found the water that shot out was hot. Again! It must have felt like another delicious warm bath to the tiny aquilegia seeds on the receiving end in their nursery tray.

Greenfly and slugs do not eat aquilegia. It’s why I decided that this year I would try and let these flowers run riot and so I am now specialising in growing ‘columbine’ or ‘aquilegia’ a weed to some people. I have noticed my existing beds of columbine (any untended rough points in the garden!) are virtually indestructible as well as delightful. They go on and on cheerfully producing my favourite shades of mauve and blue although gardening neighbours round here are almost embarrassed if their gardens show signs of it. But I call it one of my official weeds.

Three weeks back I bought a packet of aquilegia hybrid seeds to try and increase their presence while diversifying the beautiful mauves pinks and blues I already have. Now it seems I am getting somewhere, the new babies have arrived and are in second leaf.

The aquilegia seedlings were not due to appear at all just yet. According to the packet it should have taken three months for the seeds to dare to be. To hurry them it recommended forcing the seeds, by putting them in the freezer for a week, to shock them and brings them forward! Something to do with the contrast in temperatures…..
Well I just found out (two weeks after planting) that these babies were having none of it (a hostile shot of ice, and then what?). They have appeared, loving nothing more than their daily late afternoon sun warmed bath. They have woken up, in just two weeks (with warm feet!) looking good and ready to go! Suits me………and not a slug in sight!

14 thoughts on “I grow weeds

    1. Nice to hear that ! They are so sweet. People round here weed them along with the dandelions and would you believe it, the violets, that turn up anywhere too . Hollyhocks do the rounds as well and are often upended. I think some flowers ( on the line of garden or wild) have as much history and feel for place as the old buildings,which have been around for yonks….. and are as much part of the landscape!


  1. According to the general accepted definition of various dictionaries a weed is : “a plant that is not valued where it is growing”, although it does go on to say “and is usually of vigorous growth, especially : one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants”
    It also then goes on to say “a drug derived from the family of plants that includes hemp. Weed can be smoked or eaten. Use of weed produces a mild sense of euphoria”, ooopss wrong bit….
    Anyway… weeds are not determined by whether they look ugly or not, more on how detrimental they are to other plants around them….
    It’s funny because I was thinking about this recently and meant to look up a proper definition of ‘weed’ but never managed to get round to it…. but now I have.
    By the above definition I would have to class strawberries and mint as weeds in my garden because after first planting them I realised that within a year they had sent an amazing amount of roots everywhere underground and that they were popping up all over the place almost 10 feet away from where they were originally planted and so I had to pull them up and segregate them.
    Up here people class gorse and broom bushes and possible weeds because there are so many of them, but many years ago when they dug the Caledonian canal, Thomas Telford the engineer ordered that gorse and broom be planted on the banks of the canal because he knew that they would grow so well and then their roots would actually help to strengthen the banks which are mostly sand and stone. So there can be good uses of weeds.
    The other thing is invasive species, plants that aren’t originally from this country, like conifers that are from much colder climates and therefore don’t grow as much in the winter, but here it is like spring all the time to them and so they grow unbelievably fast and take over. People would class them as weeds, but that would mean classing rhododendrons as weeds also, which I can take no part in…
    Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough now so I should stop…


    1. Thank you Mark for that! I hadn’t realised what I said ‘I grow weeds’ may have implied that I grow hemp. Not thus far….. and it hasn’t arrived yet on its own either, so presumably the neighbours are keeping it safe in their attics!
      What does grow here, as far as I know, does not turn into anything that produces euphoria, although nothing has been lit yet, so I may be wrong!
      But Strawberries? Weeds? OK ! Let me think……..

      Your mint sounds like my Mint! Wild! It is wonderful stuff and it is ‘summer’ with butter, on new potatoes; but these last two years my mint has been kept in a pot … and a sulking shadow of its former self!

      It finally had to be banged on the head because it was getting into the foundations of the house. There must have been a long history of mint growing where it did because when it did die, finally, about two years back the empty root system had made a fine underground palace, under the house.
      It seemed every ant, flying or otherwise in the neighbourhood, started to come out in the middle of the living room by the tele, one sultry summer afternoon (two years ago).

      Give me suicidal moths in a light shade any evening rather than Queens getting used to day light during ‘Flog it’. You get the same thing with ants when you grow Wysteria… and after its gone! Be warned! Think you just have to be careful where to put these things and brace up for a bit of a love hate arrangement and management …..

      So prickly gorse has its uses for holding up the landscape and I guess Rhododendrons have their own agenda regarding roots and hanging on and bombing other gentler things? But the flowers are lush, and can be picked for arranging in pots and poking into buttonholes and putting in your hair and just one or maybe two will make a bouquet for little girls playing weddings! So it would be nice if the whole world was covered in them and they look eatable too, don’t they? Long live Rhododendrons!

      Strawberries? Weeds! Deh! But you can EAT strawberries. Euphoria! And they need their roots where ever they go, to get plump and sweet. And are soon all eaten up! It’s the little critters that eat them before I do, that need managing and banishing!

      Now I am going to have a wander to see if any new and euphoric weeds, just for me, have turned up out there!


  2. This is interesting – I know other folk who grow columbine like this, but mine have usually been covered in aphids ( possibly due to other plants in the vicinity) so I root them out with a vengeance!


    1. The ones I have are wild and long established (only ever blue and pink) and absolutely no sign of anything wanting to eat them! The new ones I am bringing on are hybrid and may be more prone to aphids, so I am keeping my fingers crossed they will be as sturdy as the originals! .


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