Gransnet forums


What is a weed?

(34 Posts)
thatbags Sun 17-Aug-14 11:39:54

I just saw the expression "weed-free wildflowers" which I don't understand so I'm asking gransnetters, what is a weed? A rephrase of the question might be what's the difference between a weed and a wildflower? I think the difference might be subjective.


shysal Sun 17-Aug-14 11:46:23

If a wild flower is where you don't want it, it's a weed.
If a weed is where you are happy to see it, it's a wild flower.

ninathenana Sun 17-Aug-14 11:47:43

I've always understood a weed to be a plant growing where you don't want it to be.
As you say it's subjective.

Ana Sun 17-Aug-14 11:47:44

A Weed is a flower in the wrong place by Ian Emberson

A weed is a flower in the wrong place,
a flower is a weed in the right place,
if you were a weed in the right place
you would be a flower;
but seeing as you’re a weed in the wrong place
you’re only a weed –
its high time someone pulled you out.

vegasmags Sun 17-Aug-14 12:08:54

A weed is a plant that slugs and snails don't want to eat.

Nonnie Sun 17-Aug-14 12:44:47

A weed is all the above plus it grows profusely without any help or encouragement!

kittylester Sun 17-Aug-14 12:47:13

And crowds out the flowers that aren't weeds!

ffinnochio Sun 17-Aug-14 12:51:02

I like this quote:

But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people's idea, not nature's. ~Author Unknown

durhamjen Sun 17-Aug-14 13:13:21

I have a gardener to cut my grass and hedges. He always asks if I want weedkiller using. I say I do not have any weeds, just wild flowers. He's only been doing it for a year, so hopefully he'll get the message soon!

rubysong Sun 17-Aug-14 14:00:30

I do sometimes feel a bit guilty as I pull up buckets and buckets of ferns, primroses and bluebells, only to switch on Gardeners World and find them planting the damned things delightful plants. They all grow everywhere in my garden and I have to keep them to manageable levels or they would swamp everything else.

HollyDaze Sun 17-Aug-14 14:48:27

A weed is a plant that slugs and snails don't want to eat.

That did make me chuckle - because it's so true grin

Coolgran65 Sun 17-Aug-14 14:59:26

I purposefully have ferns, primroses and bluebells in my garden. Love them. As my biggest fern unfolds the DGC call it the seahorse plant, the ends of the fronds look just like a tiny seahorse.

mrsmopp Sun 17-Aug-14 17:11:37

I might grow a weed garden.
I wouldn't have to lift a finger!
Ah, but they wouldn't be weeds if I wanted them there, would they?

rubysong Sun 17-Aug-14 17:57:13

I like ferns, primroses and bluebells in certain areas of the garden and have just planted a fernery of fancy ferns (and our natural ones) but they all reproduce like mad and it's difficult to get other things going where they are thick on the ground. I'm also trying to get rid of bracken in the churchyard but don't want to use spray. We've strimmed it and I am going to pull the regrowth every few weeks. Will it give up eventually?

shysal Sun 17-Aug-14 18:28:53

Bob Flowerdew says you can kill almost anything by cutting or mowing it down to ground level repeatedly, so the answer to your question rubysong is 'yes'. The bracken should eventually die off.

thatbags Sun 17-Aug-14 19:10:28

The best thing to keep bracken under control is cattle tampling it, apparently.

Loving the posts! smile

durhamj, my mum had scarlet pimpernel growing at the side of her lawn that the gardener who mows and weeds for her wanted to pull up. He called it a weed. She said firmly: "It's a pretty wild flower. Leave it."

Agus Sun 17-Aug-14 19:42:40

A very timely thread smile

GD was asking me the name of the tall pink flower that grows in abundance at the side of the road. I can't remember but I'm sure GNetters can help me out please. No doubt it will be termed a weed but GD and I like it.

dustyangel Sun 17-Aug-14 19:46:08

Rosebay Willowherb ?

Grannyknot Sun 17-Aug-14 19:49:01

agus is it cosmos? They are definitely not weeds smile

Ana Sun 17-Aug-14 20:00:47

Cranesbill? Common mallow?

Agus Sun 17-Aug-14 20:01:38

Rosebay Willowherb it is dusty. my mind went completely blank when she asked me. Thanks for letting me know. GD is under the impression that Granny knows everything and I hate to disillusion her grin. I will let her know when I see her tomorrow.

I have cosmos in the garden so know it's not a weed Gknot. grin

Agus Sun 17-Aug-14 20:05:30

Got it thanks Ana

Ana Sun 17-Aug-14 20:16:40


durhamjen Sun 17-Aug-14 20:23:06

I have scarlet pimpernel, bags, and speedwell. How else are we to teach our grandchildren about wild flowers if the gardeners think they are all weeds in a lawn? This year I have very little lawn left. It's nearly all clover.

Ana Sun 17-Aug-14 20:41:48

The only weeds I really don't like are dandelions. They spread like wildfire and are all over the garden and patio this year. Hard to get rid of as well! hmm