A Weed by Any Other Name: The Virtues of a Messy Lawn, or by Nancy Gift

By Nancy Gift

Is weed? this query, requested by way of someone who has ever gardened or mowed a garden, doesn't have a simple resolution. finally, a weed, as suburban mom weed scientist Nancy reward reminds readers, is just a plant misplaced. In A Weed by means of the other identify, present deals a private, unapologetic security of clovers, dandelions, plantains, and extra, chronicling her event with those "enemy" vegetation season by way of season. instead of falling prey to pressures to accomplish the right garden and backyard, present elucidates the various purposes to include an unconventional, weedy backyard. She celebrates the spots of wildness that crop up in a variety of corners of suburbia, redeeming many a plant's recognition via expounding on its optimistic characteristics. She comprises recipes for dandelion wine and garlic mustard pesto in addition to sketches that express the traditional fantastic thing about vegetation reminiscent of the morning glory, categorised by way of the USDA as an invasive and noxious weed. even though she is an recommend of weeds, reward admits that a few crops do require eradication-she fortunately digs out multiflora rose and hotels to chemical conflict on poison ivy. yet she additionally demonstrates that weeds frequently hold a message for us concerning the land and our remedy of it, if we're prepared to hear.

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Extra resources for A Weed by Any Other Name: The Virtues of a Messy Lawn, or Learning to Love the Plants We Don't Plant

Sample text

The crocus-eating bunny wasn’t our rabbit in any sense of ownership, but it lived with us and we watched it and learned from it. In contrast, the chickens are ours, bred and hatched to live with humans, and we know all too well that they can’t live without our protection. I like the idea that, whether we have pets or not, we are the caretakers for a variety of living beings. The furry ones may attract our attention first, but some of the creatures in our care are the spring weeds, too. The foxtail emerges as the weather warms, while the rabbit kittens are still learning clover from crocus.

Yes, I swear at the deer when they eat leaves off our young trees, and especially when they inexplicably ate our young mountain laurel last winter—a species I had thought to be too toxic for them. ) And yes, when the rabbits munch my sunflower seedlings again and again, I wish briefly I could enjoy a rabbit on my plate for dinner. Ultimately, though, I’m glad to see them, fellow critters all. Animals, then, become one of my considerations in my tolerance or intolerance of various weeds. Nothing wild eats garlic mustard, so I pull it.

Consistently, people assume the grubs are the reason for the dead grass, but I see grubs as opportunists who feed on lawns weakened by overfertilizing. Gardeners don’t like moles, but moles eat grubs, primarily, so we really have no reason to curse them unless we trip over their tunnels. The list most people have of acceptable species is so short that we tend to assume that anything unknown is a pest, and certainly the pesticide companies are happy for us to keep that mind-set. s p r i n g : Foxtails and Chickens 3 1 Animal pests and weeds are not too far apart.

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