Weird Backyard Landscaping Idea – Use Weeds

We were hiking along country lanes when I called my friend’s attention to the beauty of the velvety mulleins as they stood like sentinels along the fence lines.

“Baw,” he answered. “Those are miserable weeds.”

Once a lady asked Liberty Hyde Bailey, “What shall we do about the ugly dandelions?”

He promptly answered, “Learn to love them.”

It seems to be human nature to value the rare and despise the common.

A Wisconsin lady gathered mullein roots and planted them in her back flower border. She gave them cultivation and fertilizer and when they began to bloom the neighbor. hood was astonished at the pretty background: attractive velvety leaves with dense flower stalks 18 inches long; yellow flowers an inch across, coming nearly all summer.

Another fence-line plant is the joe-pye weed. It grows 3 to 5 feet tall. The flowers, of magneta pink, are small but come in dense large clusters and the butterflies love them. This plant got its name from an Indian doctor, Joe Pye, who used it in his medicine. A few plants set in the back border would be interesting and beautiful.

As I was coming over the top of a ridge I found a large patch of Liatris, the blazing star. The plants stood 5 feet high with long flower spikes of magenta purple. Among the mass of purple I found two white specimens. A fine plant for our perennial border. Think about incorporating these in your backyard landscape designs.

Nature uses goldenrods and wild asters to paint pretty pictures along our fence lines. Why not bring these into our flower border, give them cultivation and fertilizer, and see them increase in size and beauty?

When does a weed become a flower? Surely some of our brilliant wild fall flowers should not be classed only as weeds, but should be given a place in our flower garden.

There are dozens of weeds that have attractive flowers. Some have become pests along our fields – they are in the wrong place. But given the right setting in the garden – cultivated and fertilized – they will surprise you with pretty effects.

To tame the wildlings and work with nature is an interesting hobby. Mrs. Comstock in her book says:

The chief charm of nature study would be taken away if it did not lead us through the borderland of knowledge into the realm of the undiscovered.

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