Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weeds aren't always weeds

Oenothera laciniata
In the garden, there are those plants we planted and those plants we did not plant. We label the ones we did not plant "weeds". But, if we take the time to look more closely before pulling them up, roots and all, we may just find a jewel or two. Such is the case in my garden.

This plant is growing along the edges of my garden space. I didn't plant it and it was all mixed in with a riot of other un-invited plants so I labeled it a weed and it was going to face the same fate as all the other "weeds". But, Mother noted that it is pretty and for her, that was enough to give it a pardon. I needed to know more. After consulting more knowledgable individuals, I discovered that the plant is a Cutleaf Evening Primrose plant. Yeah, that Evening Primrose! Well, technically, not the same plant as used in the commercial supplements; but, with the same chemical -- GLA (a special fatty acid). So, this weed turns out to be a medicinal plant!

 The other "weed" was being pulled up by the bushels full until I happened to see it in pots for sale at the local nursery! Imagine my surprise to see them asking $3.69 for a 3-inch pot for plants I was composting as fast as I could! This was no weed, it is an herb--both culinary and medicinal. You can eat it in salads or cooked like spinach. It is rich in Alpha-Linolenc Acid (Omega 3) -- the same as in the fish oil supplements.

I've noticed something else about "weeds" -- rain or no rain, they grow. Weeds are persistant. They are survivialists. Weeds don't need to be pampered or coddled. They are as pretty as hybrid roses but without the frail nature.

Perhaps, as we look within ourselves and aim at pulling the weeds out of our hearts and souls, we should be more careful. There may be some things we preceive as weeds but are jewels worthy of notice. Some may even possess within themselves just the things we need to be healthy. It may be that the plants to be pulled are the hybrid roses.

My garden has a long way to go but I have begun to make room for weeds.

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