Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pick a Bouquet and Throw It Away - by Irene Shonle

There are a number of noxious weeds that are granted asylum in mountain gardens because of their good looks.  I actually spend quite a lot of time working to convince people that what appears to be a pretty garden flower can in fact be a bully (never mind the state weed law). 'Daisies' in particular (oxeye daisy and scentless chamomile) seem to have such an aura of innocence that it comes as a shock to learn of their dark side.  One man told me that he had such fond memories of using daisies as a love prognosticator (she loves me...), that he could not wrap his head around them being "bad."

It helps to use images to make the point.  This a mountain town (which I will not embarrass by naming  in this blog) where every available inch is covered in scentless chamomile:
Scentless chamomile is a prolific seeder, and rapidly colonizes any bare ground
Something that takes a little of the sting from removing invasive ornamental weeds from your property is the idea that you can "pick a bouquet and throw it away".   Pull up the plant, roots and all (both scentless chamomile and oxeye daisies have relatively shallow roots), clip off the roots, and enjoy them in a vase.
Pick a bouquet and throw it away
I gathered this bouquet from the side of the road.  I saw an isolated plant growing, and wanted to pull it before it went to seed.  I frequently just throw the whole plant away, but this time, the flowers looked so fresh and pretty that I decided to put them in a vase and enjoy them for a while.
 Pulling weeds from roadsides or your yard is a total win-win situation -- you prevent hundreds if not thousands of seeds from going into the seed bank, and you get to enjoy free flowers!  Just be sure that you limit this concept to noxious weeds, and not our native plants.  Pretty noxious weeds (aka invasive ornamentals) that are good candidates for "free flowers"  include:  yellow toadflax, dalmatian toadflax, bouncing bet, dame's rocket,  and common tansy.

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