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Showing posts from July, 2020

WEEDS

The intent of the A-Z Discovery on Weeds Series came about because of several reasons.  First, as a result of a writing workshop prompt, which I thought was pretty unique.  Second, in offering the prompt “Writing About Weeds” we were introduced a cornucopia of weeds, and some even had flowers.  This was third and probably the most inviting inspiration for writing about weeds because I didn’t know weeds could be so beautiful.  As I’ve said many times I’m no Gardener and a major focus is on getting rid of the bothersome weeds.  Yet, seeing the beauty, variety and diversity of weeds, I thought there’s more.  And with that idea, came the inspiration to dig beyond the obvious and root out  beauty and purpose of the “common weeds” we pass by, but don’t see.   What I discovered is a new lexicon, history, and purposefulness from medicinal treatment of toothache, menstruation to poisonous arrows in Tanzania.  Likewise, this series on weeds has included travel from Asia to the Dust Bowl to  New

GRASS

Who knew there could be so many explanations, so many specifications and such distinguishing features for grass?  Accordingly, “Grassy weeds have their name because they closely resemble desirable grasses. This often makes them more difficult to identify than broadleaf weeds. Grassy weed blades emerge as a single leaf from a germinated grass seed. They grow to be long with parallel veins and have round, hollow stems and hard, closed joints (nodes) with alternating leaf blades on each side. ” Likewise, “Grasses and bamboos are in the Graminaceae family, sedges are in the Cyperaceae family, and rushes are in the Juncaceae family. “ When you look at a grass or sedge, what you see are the stems, leaves, and flowers. And “Out of the three families, the ornamental grasses have the showiest flowers.”  Clearly a Botanist, probably a Horticulturist, and possibly a Gardner would understand the following distinction of weeds.  However, I’m neither, and yet there’s something very simplistic about

SEDGE

The author writes " Sedges have edges. Rushes are round. Grasses are hollow. What have you found?" Is said to be a common rhyme to remember key differences between the Sedge, Rush, and Grass families. However, it must be the company I keep or don't keep because it's one "common rhyme" I've never heard before. Perhaps it has something to do with never having planted anything before; not being a Gardner. Oh sure, I've been around plenty of gardens and Gardeners including my grandparents, my mother and even some very close friends. Yet, the closest I've come to this Sedge Rhyme is "Ring Around the Roses'' and the closest I've come to gardening is keeping the pothos plant that sits on my desk alive. Nonetheless, here's another new thought in A-Z Series on the Wonders of Weeds (I just coined that title). As per the rhyme Sedges have triangular stems ("edges"), except for Scripus, which has round stems. The edges typical

AQUATIC

The Curly-Leaf Pondweed, Sago Pondweed, Water Hyacinth, Water Lily, and Watermeal are weeds that have a very obvious feature in common. These are Aquatic weed types which grow emergent, submerged and floating weeds in ponds or lakes. Curly-Leaf Pondweed appears reddish-brown in the water, but is actually green when examined out of water. Sago Pondweed is submersed in both lakes and ponds. Water Hyacinth can grow above water and is supported by an erect stalk with a single spike of 8 to 15 flowers. The yellow Water Lily has large heart-shaped leaves that float on the surface. It's flower is bright yellow, with a single row of petals. The free floating Watermeal is the world's smallest flowering plant and resembles small grains of green cornmeal. As it happens, none of the I chose to write about in the A-Z series were Aquatic. Fortunately, with a commitment to continue to study, to go deeper and beyond, our knowledge, insight and awareness grows . *  Such is the benefit of making

BROADLEAF

One of the funny quirks about language is how we sometimes use a word to describe the word we're describing. Since I'd completed the A-Z alphabet series for weeds, I thought I'd branch out and review some of the descriptives that characterize weeds. Granted weeds may not be on most people's list of Top 10 Things to Know for Dinner Conversation, however, this series has introduced interesting information as well as new words such as Broadleaf. For example, Broadleaf is described as "plants that have relatively broad leaves..." As it turns out, this definition uses that funny quirk of describing something using the word you're describing. I see this as similar to describing the sky as "something that is open like the sky" or something like that. Which I'm not sure helps if you don't know what the sky is. To be fair, this definition of Broadleaf goes on to explain "...whereas leaves of grasses and sedges are bladelike. Leaves of broadl

ZEN

This particular Zen weed is described as a "blending Mexican sativa, Afghan, and Lavender" and bears no resemblance to the weed found on front lawns. The last letter of the alphabet in this A-Z series on "The Common Weed." This weed, like several others listed in the series, is an alternative because there is no corresponding "Z" letter garden variety type weed. Suffice to say, it's rather a relief to be at the end of this alphabet series as the last few letters have been a challenge to match. Indeed, a perspicuous challenge; a clear-cut, explicit challenge to dig beyond the "known" negative perspective on the "common weed" to discover, learn, become aware of the positive. It was during a writing seminar when shown a screenshot of several "Common Weed Types" and invited to write that the inkling for the series began to take root. Like most people, I didn't give weeds much thought other than how troublesome or disrup

YARROW

Yarrow is an invasive weed with mats of fern-like green foliage. A summer perennial with Daisy-like white flowers that form a flat-topped cluster, the leaves of Yarrow are lanceolate and strongly scented. It grows from Rhizome stems below the surface of the soil, and it's tough, fibrous roots make this weed very tolerant to drought. Yarrow can be found in both wet and dry areas, such as roadsides, meadows, fields and coastal places. Native to Eurasia, it grows in the UK to China, and throughout the United States, except in the Southwest. Interestingly, Yarrow is weed with more than twenty names, such as Achilee,, Band Man's Plaything,, Carpenter's Weed,, Devil's Nettle, Devil's Plaything, Erba Da Cartentieri,, Green Arrow, Herbe aux Charpentiers, Katzenkrat, Milfoil Millefeuille, Nosebleed, Old Man's Pepper, Rajmari, Soldier's Wound Wort, Thousand-Leaf, and Wound Wort to name a few. Likewise, Yarrow has several medicinal uses including fever, common cold,

XANADU

Xanadu is many things. It is the focus of poetry, allegory and history. Xanadu is a place, an ideal mystery, mystic and myth. Xanadu is also real. A part of northern Asia heritage, "t he large archaeological site now generally covered by grassland preserves the overall urban plan and city site of Xanadu as built and used in the 13th and 14th centuries ." Xanadu is also the name of a weed, belonging to the Cannabis sativa species.  The history of Xanadu is so ancient, intricate and complex, I wonder how its meaning became so synthesized in popular society. And yet, in all fairness, all history is intricate and complex because it only happens in the moment. Of course, the 13th and 14th centuries are hundreds of years gone from yesterday. However, it doesn't change the fact that once a moment is gone, it's history. And that is why the moment, the present, the now is precious. Mindfulness, meditation and yoga also have history and heritage; mystic and myth (even subtly co

WITCHGRASS

Okay, I'll admit it from the start, I chose Witchgrass with the expectation it would have some intriguing and interesting stories associated with its name. Obviously, I'm referring to witch stories or historical references to that era when people (admittedly) believed in witches. Suffice to say, research turned up no such association. As it turns out, Witchgrass gets its name from its hairy stems, erect with a large fuzzy panicle point similar to a witch's broom. An tufted annual, its alternate leaves are toward the base with blades up to 10" long. This weed has a shallow fibrous root system (rhizomes) thrive in dry or wet soils. When ripe, its seeds burst and rapidly scatter for long distances in the wind, which is what makes this weed hard to control. Witchgrass is found in fields, ditches, roadsides, railroads, gardens, shores, waste areas in North America. A valuable forage, this weed is also used for erosion control. Other names for Witchgrass are panic grass, ha

VERONICA

It reminds us once again that "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" because as a weed, Gardners see the bother not the beauty of Veronica with its delicate deep blue flowers. Like most weeds, Veronica has other names including ' Cats Eye' and 'Birds Eye' which refers to the small white spot in the middle of the flower. A native of western Asia and eastern Europe, Veronica grows low to the ground and can spread up 30 inches wide. This weed has round or kidney-shaped leaves, slender stems, prominent veins and heavily toothed edges. A perennial, its flowers have four petals, one of which is significantly smaller than the other three with the aforementioned white in the center of the flower. As is the nature of weeds, Veronica is resilient and able to grow in all types of soil, but thrives in moist soil. Also called Creeping Veronica, Threadstalk Speedwell, Creeping Speedwell because it grows low to the ground, this weed tolerates foot traffic which makes it a &

UNDERGROWTH

It's a problem I've come across several times. There is no exact corresponding weed for the letter "U" which provides an opportunity to get creative. This parallels the journey of life because as much as we'd like things to go exactly as we planned, it doesn't always happen. In those circumstances we can say forget it, close down and leave unfinished or we can seek alternatives. When I queried "other words for weeds" I chose the word Undergrowth from the options. This alternative resonated because much of the research for this series on weeds has included the rhizome classification when describing specific characteristics of weeds. Undergrowth is defined as shrubs that invade and/or disrupt the path (usually in the forest. In addition, shrubs have rhizome characteristics. Prior to researching weeds, letters A-Z, I'd never come across the term rhizome, although it showed up regularly in my life. Rhizome is an underground stem meant for the storage

TORPEDOGRASS

It's said Torpedograss is so successful, so deeply rooted that even if you don't see it growing on your lawn, it's still growing on your lawn. It arrived in Alabama 1876 from Africa and/or Asia. Interestingly, it wasn't until the U. S. Department of Agriculture imported Torpedograss seed in the early 1900s to use as forage for cattle that problems began to take root. Unfortunately, this tough grass didn't do so well as food for livestock, but that was the least of problems as the invasive nature of Torpedograss became apparent.  It returns every year (a perennial), grows up to 3-feet tall, with long rhizomes and as the namesake indicates, this weed has torpedo-like tips. The leaves are flat or rolled, with a white waxy covering and can be hairy.  As a member of the rhizome family, this aggressive weed has deep roots and can find water even in dry and drought environments. Torpedograss is found from Florida to Texas as well as tropical and subtropical coasts around t

SANDBUR

It's weird how sometimes you know a thing...just because you know it. It's like that with the Sandbur. As soon as I heard the name, I knew what it was. Not only was it familiar, it actually gave a warm feeling inside. I'm not sure that's what my grandmother called this weed when as a young child playing in the hot summer sun, she cautioned us to be careful because the spurs (bur) were sharp, spiky and hurt. And once these little spiky burs attach to clothing, it's no fun getting them off. And although I haven't thought about a Sandbur in decades, I remember it fondly.  Of course, it's not the sharp, sticky, spiky burs I remember so fondly, it's my grandmother's love. Technically, Sandbur means "armed with spines" in accordance with its horticultural name Cenchrus, which is Greek for millet and the Greek name echinatus means armed with spines. Sandburs thrive in dry, sandy soils and are native to warm areas of North America, North Africa, A

RAGWEED

Since Ragweed is most commonly known for the havoc it causes during allergy season, I thought I'd introduce a less commonly known and rather interesting aspect of this familiar weed. I think there is something to be said for a weed that has both male and female flowers in a single plant. And this weed can grow! It can reach up to 15 feet (but that's the Giant Ragweed version). Ragweed is so basic most people overlook its "special" female/male flowers feature which appear as small yellowish bumps hidden in the upper leaf axil that is supported by a stem or branch. Indigenous to North America, this weed is found throughout the United States and in Canada. Most famous for fall allergies, Ragweed is easily found in uneven ground such as vacant lots and along roadsides. Nevertheless, even such a nondescript weed as ragweed can reveal depths of purposefulness beyond initial appearance.   As it turns out Ragweed pollen is sometimes used in natural hay fever therapies. Accord

QUACKGRASS

Quackgrass is perennial grass that resembles crabgrass.  The difference between these two weeds is Quackgrass has long tapered blades that are thicker than the average blade of grass attached to a hollow stem.  Native of Europe, Quackgrass has spread throughout the northern temperate zones and is common in the U.S., especially throughout Ohio. The stems of Quackgrass are erect, smooth, round and unbranched. They can grow 1 to 4 feet tall and leaves are rolled in the bud. The leaf blade is dull grayish-green, thin, flat and finely pointed. Blades are ribbed and the upper blade surface is somewhat rough or slightly hairy. The bottom surface is smooth and the base a lighter in color. Quackgrass is found in crop fields, roadsides, abandoned fields and has a high tolerance for drought. It is often used for hay and pasture. Another weed with a noteworthy moniker, Quackgrass is said to derive the 'quack' portion from the German 'quecke', which means 'to live', with reg

PURSLANE

Purslane is a summer  taproot weed with thick, waxy leaves resembling a jade plant found in the United States.  With a cluster at the tip of the stem,which is red in color, it branches out from a central point, forming 1-foot in diameter and up to 16 ft. tall. The Purslane flower is solitary, yellow and has 5 petals which usually open only on hot, sunny days from mid-morning to early afternoon. The flower blooms from May to November. Believed to be a native to North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent, Purslane reached Europe by the late 16th century. It now grows in most parts of the world, preferring tropical weather and/or warm temperatures. Cultivated more than 4,000 years for food and medicinal use, this weed still serves both purposes today.  Considered very nutritious, Purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids (like those in fish and flax seeds), with other health properties such as vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium and antioxidants.  Both

OXALIS

Although Oxalis has the look of a clover usually associated with luck, gardeners consider this weed wholly unlucky.  Misconception about this precocious little perennial might also come from its pretty 5 petal yellow flowers. The common yellow woodsorrel , Oxalis is native North American plant.  Also what distinguishes Oxalis from a “true lucky clover” is its  heart-shaped leaves.  A slender weed, it can grow 6-15″ tall.  Nonetheless, Oxalis which do grow in other parts of the world is tenacious and considered one the most annoying weeds for gardeners with the potential to flourish because it has so many methods to reproduce itself anywhere it touches the ground. With over 800 species, some Oxalis are cultivated as beautiful plants.  Among these is a plant called the “False Shamrock” which has beautiful deep maroon leaves and five white petals.   In addition to being so beautiful, this Oxalis has leaves that close like an umbrella at night (or when disturbed).There’s something mystical

NIMBLEWILL

Nimblewill is grass; simple and basic.  Still it is a specific kind of grass, a weed of short leaves about 1-2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide, rolled in the bud. This weed is flat, blue-green, with lots of visible veins on the surface and a distinct jagged top. Adaptable and resilient with a range of soil conditions, as well as full sun or dense shade, in wet to dry conditions Nimblewill wholeheartedly fulfills its purpose as true and hearty weed. In fact, Nimblewill is one of the most basic weeds you will ever come across.  Indeed, it’s easy enough to spot.  As one source states you know it by the “not-so-green parts of the lawn [and the]  circular straw-colored patches [that]  start small and round, but can eventually spread over most of the lawn area” disrupting the flow of well manicured lawns.  Regardless, of its simplicity, I still feel compelled to search and search until I dig up something more “interesting” and/or  “purposeful” about this weed. And yet, I know from personal e

MATCHWEED

Although native to the U.S. the pretty purple perennial Matchweed has a trailblazing history with hot pockets in varied and distant places throughout the world including Central America, West Indies, Japan and India.  It’s stems grow nodes which produce a tuft of leaves, a cluster of roots, and a stalk a few inches tall with a compact flowering spike.  The flowers change color, receiving its name from its compact, clusters of tiny whitish-purple flowers that resemble the heads of matches.   Matchweed is also known as frogfruit, but no one really knows why.   A member of the verbena family (Verbenaceae) Matchweed has elements associated with " intensely sweet" Aztec Sweet Herb  with properties for  anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory as well as treatment for anorexia, coughs, and acid reflux. I find it interesting that such a pretty weed associated with “intensely sweet” properties procures a pesky name as frogfruit.  Yet it just goes to show “You can’t always judge

LAMBSQUARTER

The bluish-green leaves of Lambsquarter are delicate to the touch. The edges of the leaf are toothed and the leaf tip is pointed.  Shaped like the head of a lance, upright and branched, mature Lambsquarter  weeds grow to 3 feet tall and about 1 inch wide. The leaves are covered with a white mealy substance that gives it a distinctive talcum-powder appearance on the underside of the leaf.  Lambsquarter is a member of the taproot family which includes carrots, parsnips and beets.  The name taproots reflect plants, vegetables, and weeds which are desert strong and drought resilient because the roots can go down more than 75 feet allowing them to find water, even in dry climates. As if withstanding desert temperatures isn't enough, in the old days Lambsquarter was as popular for English citizens as spinach was to Popeye the Sailor.   In fact, the ancient name for this weed was “all good” and reported to contain more iron and protein than raw cabbage or spinach.  Lambsquarter popularity

KIKUYUGRASS

The saying “Patience is a virtue” has to be one of the oldest wise sayings.  Consequently, it quickly springs to mind when we experience it’s validity.  This said, this series can finally return to one-word weeds with a look at Kikuyugrass.  Admittedly, chosen for it’s unusual spelling (sounding) name.  Arguably, one might say many of these names in this series are unusual, which are traditionally left to gardeners’ discussions.  Still, as Kikuyugrass is commonly associated with The Great Outback, as is Australia -  its bound have an edge when it comes to unique. That unique edge begins with Kikuyugrass being native to Kenya . The Kenyan seed was used in the 1960’s to start a propagation in New South Wales.  Kikuyugrass has broad coarse leaves (9 to 15 inches long) and hardy runners. The leaves are green, flattened or upwardly folded and the apex of the leaf blade is obtuse. A member of the poaceae plant family which provides staple foods such as maize, wheat, rice, barley, and millet

JILLYBEAN

This time it’s Jillybean and I find myself wondering “How long does one hold onto an idea, a concept, a platform when it isn’t going as planned?”  This is a series about weeds and the planned discourse is to uncover, discover and reveal a way of looking at the unwanted, unappreciated, undesired weeds from a different perspective. Instead of seeing only the negative side, as most gardeners view weeds. The idea was to use weeds as a metaphor to show the positive when not visibly apparent.  However, although the reference guide indicates A-Z, appearance and region search filters, the planned path for discussion keeps veering in a different direction from garden weeds to cannabis weed. Unable to ignore an obvious pun, veering from weeds to weed would be the positive for many.  It’s a point well taken, however, I remain dedicated to the primary platform of this series which is weeds, not cannabis.  Given this, I’m once again presented with the opportunity to discover what insights might be

INGRID

Ingrid Bergman is who first comes to mind at the mention of the name Ingrid. Not surprisingly, in the part of the world I live, I don’t run into many people (women) with that name. Still, if nothing else I know it is a Norse, or more familiarly a Swedish female name. What I didn’t know was its meaning is attributed to the word “beautiful” for Danish, Dutch and Norwegian culture. Further, in discovering the meaning of the name, I find it curious that the most famous Ingrid known the world over, easily qualifies as beautiful the world over. How did her parents know she would be so highly regarded as beautiful?  In addition to having its roots as meaning beautiful, Ingrid is also the name of a weed (cannabis) strain. Perhaps, the name Ingrid in the context of cannabis weed also has something to do with beauty or being beautiful. Nonetheless, that particular discussion is not the direction for this discourse, but this weed namesake Ingrid (the letter I) does help stay the path of this disc

HORSENETTLE

From witches brew to vegetable stew horsenettle is quite a colorful weed.  Although, similar to most weeds, horsenettle is primarily green and leaf-like with prickly spines along the vein on the undersides. As they mature, star-shaped white or blue flowers bloom and eventually, the flowers produce yellow fruit. Of note the blooms resemble potato flowers, which is attributed to the fact that both potatoes and horsenettle are members of the nightshade family.   A very interesting sidebar about the horsenettle weed is its membership in the nightshade family which includes some of my  favorite vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers.  In addition, the notoriously poisonous plant belladonna is a member of the nightshade family.  The common property in both vegetables and belladonna is solanine, which can cause convulsions and death if taken in large doses. Moreover, solanine properties found in horsenettle are known to be psychoactive and can be used for mind/mood altering dru

GROUNDSEL

The wispy, white, puffball head of the groundsel weed is delicate and pretty.  A member of the thistle family, this weed yellows buds with green leaf-like structures called bracts associated with reproduction.  At the base of the puffball head (flower) is its black tips which distinguish groundsel from others in the thistle species.  Interestingly, although there is significant caution about toxins, mammals, such as rabbits, do not seem to be harmed by groundsel.  Likewise some bird species eat the leaves and seeds without being harmed.  In addition, Herbalist and Homeopathic practitioners use groundsel for treatment of headache, nose bleeds, chapped hands, as well as stomach and menstrual disorders pains. In the context of life as the ultimate ongoing experience, I would say Groundsel represents a “Take what you like, and leave the rest” grain of wisdom.  It’s a centering perspective that we can cultivate in still, quiet practice of mindfulness.  The intent, purpose, direction is fo

FESCUE

A  “Shade grass” Fescue is a type of weed (grass) that it shade tolerant which refers to any type of grass varieties that are shade tolerant.   An important distinction because grasses do better in varying degrees of shade.  Fescue is a species of flowering plants belonging to the grass family with evergreen perennial tufted height ranging of 4-79 inches (10–200 cm).  As a species of turfgrass, Fescue is noted for its rare element of endophytes which allows this weed to live symbiotically with the plants.  The element of endophytes helps grass better withstand the stresses heat and drought. In addition, this provides insect and mammal resistance. Some species of Fescue are used as ornamental, turfgrass and as hay for livestock, being a highly nutritious feed.  Certain species of Festuca are used in parks, sports fields for land stabilization. Of note was the cultivation of 'Kentucky 31' species which was used in land reclamation during the Dust Bowl during the 1930s. Admittedly

EVERGREEN

If you’ve lived long enough you’ll agree that life can sometimes be a little tricky.  That is to say “How did that happen '' or “That’s not exactly what I had in mind” or “The best-laid plans…often go awry’’ as the adapted words of poet Robert Burns Scottish reads.  At such times we may crease the space between the eyes, pass a hand over the hair, or pause holding chin in hand trying to figure out what to do when life manifests one of it’s definitive laws:  surprise.  This was where I landed when discovering my plan for alphabetical, one-word, discourse of weeds got stumped.  As it turns out, weed references (online weed websites) list only one “E” - and that is a two-word weed.  Thus this is the tricky part comes, discovering Evergreen is a type of “weed” - only it’s the cannabis type of weed. Both the Latin binomial term sempervirens, which means "always green" and its common name "Evergreen" identify the most prominent and beautiful aspect of this weed. 

CINQUEFOIL

Cinquefoil is described as rough, coarsely toothed, with yellow flowers, which divide at the fifth leaf when 3 distinct lobes appear.  Found in wet marshes, dry fields and damp marshes the blooming yellow flowers of this plant brighten dense green pastures.  Still Cinquefoil is considered a distinctly robust and  troublesome weed. Cinquefoil derives it’s name from the French term for “five-leaved” and beyond it’s rough and unruly exterior its root offers purposefulness as tincture epilepsy, toothache, dysentery, and jaundice. Cinquefoil is especially helpful for intestinal problems diarrhea and constipation.   Externally, this plant which is considered a weed helps heal wounds, sores, ulcers, bruises and relieves pain.  In its common household,  hairy, robust, bitter weed is useful as mouthwash. Multi-tiered (five-leaved), coarse and problematic, the Cinquefoil weed delivers beauty in bright yellow bloom and purposefulness in its medicinal uses.  Likewise, in daily mindfulness practice

BEDSTRAW

The picture of the Bedstraw plant is a bit comprehensive as weeds go.  Bedstraw is described as  finely toothed, often needle-shaped leaves with whorls that have four to eight along with square or rounded stems.  The different flowers of the plant may be green, yellow or white.  It sounds like a lot to imagine in the unwanted weed, however, the plant is it’s own kind of pretty.  Likewise, sometimes comprehensive circumstances appear in our life that cause us to do a double take like Bedstraw. As it turns out not only does Bedstraw have it's multifarious appearance, it has a particular scent that is used in perfumes and sachets.  In addition, among its 400 species some Bedstraw is used to curdle milk and to colour cheese. Last but not least, the roots of several species was historically used to stuff mattresses, hence the namesake.   Ostensibly, Bedstraw is considered a bothersome weed to be done away with.  And yet, upon reflection it's interesting purposefulness came to light

ANGELICA

Angelica weed is most notably white.  However, these can also be purple-like and round like a small ball.  My description of Angelica is general, yet I’m confident most will recognize this plant.  I think it’s a pretty plant and is proven to have beneficial medicinal properties used to treat a variety of conditions from flu and cold, to pleurisy and typhoid to headaches.  There was even a time  when this weed   was added to the preparation of special candied sweets.   And yet for many Angelica is only perceived as a troublesome weed.  Indeed, when we have unwanted circumstances in our lives like illness, mounting debt or an unhealthy relationship, it’s difficult and often too painful to see how any benefit can come from these circumstances.  Yet, like the Angelica weed there is often benefit in those unwanted experiences.  Perhaps illness brings science a next closer to cure or mounting debt is a lesson to simplify life.  Granted the ability to see these benefits usually comes in hin

WEED

I’ve always had a secret desire to be a Gardner. In actuality, there was no “secret” to my desire to be a gardner; I just never considered taking on the task of learning more, or at least enough to garden. Nonetheless, the interest remains and from time to time I’d asked folks about this plant or this flower; this soil or that dirt. Among my curiosities about gardening is understanding the difference between a plant and a weed. Clearly, there is a visible difference between a pothos plant and dandelion weed. And yet, although both need soil, the sun and water, I don’t know that any gardener friend has ever been able to “weed out” a solid, clear, precise definition about the difference between the two. Technically, as I recently discovered, there is no biological difference between a plant and weed. As it turns out, weed has come to mean anything in a garden that does fit and/or is not desired in the scheme of the garden. Interestingly, this explanation is not surprising. In listening