Friday, May 15, 2009

A fascination with weeds


A fascination with weeds

I’m not sure why weedy plants are appealing. Maybe it’s the variety of leaf and flower, maybe because they are the underdogs of the garden and lawn, maybe it’s their tenacity to survive. Whatever the reason, I thrill when interesting little unknowns make an appearance in my yard and potted plants. Sometimes I let them grow to see what they’ll become. Other times I feel the need for order and my duty to protect the privileged tomatoes and roses, and become a merciless reaper.

This pot originally contained a small specimen of Micromeria that I wanted to learn more about. I collected this back in December, from a lovely large colony growing in what was a disturbed area, the bottom of a ditch or swale (see my Flickr sketchbook page). In south Florida, we use swales to retain the torrential downpours received in summer; the bottoms are fairly moist even during our dry season. The Micromeria has been growing and has started blooming again, but some friends started to sprout as well. This time I let them grow…just to see.

I am not a botanist, and I have trouble with identification keys unless they’re made for a layperson, so I haven’t been able to recognize the other two volunteers. I know the Micromeria from a long-ago native plant sale. Are there any weed people out there? Hopefully you’ll enjoy my little wildplant garden sketch and can identify the other two!

Elizabeth Smith
Naples, Florida, USA

6 comments:

  1. Sadly I am no help in the weed ID area but I do have to say I love, love, love how you put some in a pot to see what they do.

    The sketch is fantastic in a big fantastic kind of way.

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  2. Elizabeth...........just a great sketch.

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  3. Thanks, everyone! I'm mostly thankful that i didn't kill them, so it was an extra bonus when new things came up too. :)

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  4. This reminds me of Durer's "a large piece of turf," isn't that what it's called? Lovely, and your curiosity becomes you!

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