Sometimes people talk about “beneficial weeds”… but I would argue that all weeds are beneficial, in their place.
I really, really love weeds.
There are so many reasons to be happy for weeds. They harbor beneficial insects, keep the sand from blowing around, feed the soil, mine for nutrients…
There’s just good. Sure, we have to fight with many of them to keep our more “desirable” plants happy, but weeds are still a net gain, not a loss.
They’re also beautiful. Take a look at these lyreleaf sage blooms:
They’re perfect for picking and giving to your mom in a bouquet, aren’t they? My kids sure seem to think so… and I agree with them. Who needs to buy expensive sprayed roses when you can pick these by the road?
Another one I love: thistles.
Weeds’ deep taproots make them great nutrient accumulators, plus they have a wild spiny exuberance that I find irresistible. Tear up a patch of ground and they’ll often pop up even if you’ve never seen them there before. They also have nice, puffy seed heads, just like dandelions.
As a final bonus, they’re edible, like many of our “weeds.”
You can plant a garden to get nice, big sweet salads… but if you want to eat some seriously healthy vegetation, foraging for wild greens is where it’s at.
Weeds are beneficial… we just need to see them differently.