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A Weed by Any Other Name

Queen Anne's lace One person’s weed is another’s wildflower

Flower gardens, with their gorgeous colors and delightful fragrances, are a welcome addition to any property. Plus, they tend to draw butterflies and birds, both of which add another dimension of beauty. Unfortunately, amid all these garden pleasures, one not-so-spectacular thing is certain: there will be weeds.

Weeds seem to pop up overnight, almost cheerfully defying your best efforts to have a perfect garden. However, while most people work relentlessly to rid their gardens of them, you might find weeds far less annoying if you stopped to consider a few overlooked facts. Some weeds flower quite beautifully; in fact, the only real difference between weeds and the other plants in your garden is that weeds grow where you don’t want them, often spreading rapidly in the heat of our Central Texas summers.

Interestingly, many of these unwanted plants were once very desirable not only for their beauty but for their other abilities as well. Take kudzu, for instance. A Japanese import, kudzu is a prolific vine originally hailed for its lush leaves and large purple blooms reminiscent of wisteria. Later, it became the go-to plant for erosion control. The only problem is that kudzu grows a bit too well, increasing by about a foot per day during the summer. At that rate, it rapidly overtakes a garden. However, in a tightly contained area, kudzu is a nice addition to the garden.

Clover is another example. Whether it’s the pretty pinkish-red blooms and scalloped-edged foliage of red clover or the tiny yellow blossoms of Oxalis, they can be a menace to lawn care. Yet they have been valued for their medicinal purposes in tea and ointments for centuries. Besides, when allowed to flourish away from the lawn, these plants are actually quite lovely.

Likewise, Queen Anne’s Lace, with its delicate, lacy appearance, is a pretty accent to a garden or a bouquet of flowers. However, it’s a pain in the neck when it pops up in the middle of your lawn or in a formal flower bed. What has always made this plant worthwhile beyond its dainty looks is that it’s entirely edible, used in teas, soups, stews and salads.

Of course, these are just a few among a huge variety of weeds—or wildflowers—all of them quite content to live carefree existences in your garden. If you live in the Bryan-College Station area and none of this convinces you to view weeds as wildflowers or as anything other than a nuisance, give ABC Home & Commercial Services a call. Learn more about our lawn care and landscaping services at our website, or request a free appointment with one of our experts today.

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