Weeds get a bad press. These undesirables aren’t to be tolerated in the garden, and should be dug out, hoed over, pulled out or poisoned – anything but allowed to share the garden with our prized ornamentals and vegetables. A whole industry dedicated to their nullification has developed, and it’s testimony to the pernicious nature of the things that this industry didn’t fizzle out after a few years, having done its job. Weeds are survivors, having evolved every mechanism possible to make them ideally suited to colonising their environments. Supremely adaptable, they’re not going anywhere, and for this reason alone I think they deserve our respect. Added to which many are attractive – a weed in the garden is often a wildflower in the meadow – several are not only edible but nutritious, and many more are the source either for medicines essential to our wellbeing, or for genetic material that will help to reinvigorate the overly inbred and vulnerable strains of plants we grow for food.

...on, to words

back, to gardens...