The great Colonial Naturalist Mark Catesby has been quoted as saying that there are no weeds "only more self-reliant flowers." Ralph Waldo Emerson has said that a weed is "a plant whose virtues have yet to be discovered."
Sometimes what plants are considered to be weeds depends on whom you ask and where the plants are. Blackberry plants are either prized or despised depending on where they happen to be growing and whether or not someone has ever eaten one of the berries adequately ripened. Fights and lawsuits have been waged over the lovely and delicious dandelion. While many people think the Confederate violet is one of the natures most beautiful plants others consider it to be a weed. Many homeowners in East Tennessee wait until after the violets have bloomed in Spring to mow their lawn while others fight tooth and nail to eradicate them. Eradicate is the correct term for the Confederate violet since the only practical means to get rid of them is to remove them by their roots.
In that case, you might as well replant them into a flower bed and enjoy them.
Some other garden plants are less controversial as weeds. Kudzu, for instance, is pretty much a weed when found in the Americas. It is true that kudzu has some food value and other uses such a medicinal and basketry applications exist, but the lack of natural controls in most of the world make it into an invasive species. Sprays containing the fungus Myrothecium Verrucaria have been developed and promise to offer a safe control. Chemical herbicides are also available, but all such controls are dangerous to anyone using them and people for many subsequent generations. Goats are also used for control of kudzu and are useful for the production of very healthful and delicious milk.
In some parts of America, the air potato vine is also another very invasive weed. Primarily a problem in Florida, the variety found in America has few if any redeeming qualities. Although some varieties grown in other parts of the world are prized as food, the type found in America is toxic. Control of this weed requires constant work. The air potatoes that this vine produce must be removed and the plants must be removed on a continuous basis until the plants no longer reappear.
The key to safe weed control is to first of all to not be at war with nature. Know what you are dealing with. Be sure that what you consider to be a weed is indeed a weed and then be sure you understand the nature of the plant you are dealing with. It is useful to be sure that you know the difference between Virginia creeper and poison ivy or poison oak.
If you must have an immaculate lawn, try to avoid the use of toxic chemicals. Tools which are designed to remove roots can reduce the long-term labor and prevent rashes and other health hazards associated with herbicides such as cancer or congenital disabilities. Recurrent lawsuits against herbicide manufacturers have resulted in decreasing dangers from these products, but choosing natural methods is preferable to being part of a body of plaintiffs.
Save the husband by knowing what are genuinely weeds and understanding how to control them. Tolerating some wildflowers may fill your yard with beauty beyond your imagination. Lantana can be an invasive weed but is also cultivated for the beauty of its flowers and is a favorite in butterfly gardens.
Perhaps Try A Southern Plantation's Favorite Garden Plants
If you are considering plantation-style landscaping, there are a few garden plants that you must find. These flowering plants were Southern plantation favorites, and they include blue hydrangeas, limelight hydrangeas, lilacs, and roses. Each of these flowers has their unique characteristics, and bring beauty to your garden.
The puffy blooms of the hydrangea change color depending on the pH of the soil. Test the pH levels before planting. Acidic soil with a pH below 6 give you blue blooms, and alkaline soil with a pH above six will provide you with pink flowers. To provide you with acidic soil, add pine mulch. To get more alkaline soil, add garden lime, following the directions on the package.
Most people think of lilacs as purple, but they come in many colors. The bushes do best in full sun (six hours daily, or they won't bloom) and are easy to grow. They flower more if you do not prune them; if pruned, the bush puts out shoots with no flowers to replace the pruned part. They prefer fertile, well-drained soil, and do not need much fertilizing. In fact, they will not bloom if too much fertilizer is used. Just plant them five feet apart, make sure they get an inch of water per week and wait for fragrant blooms.
Limelight hydrangeas differ from other plants in the same family only in that they do not change color when the pH level of the soil is altered. Their blooms start white or light green and then turn pink in the late summer. They are easy to grow and maintain, and their beautiful flowers make them lovely garden plants to add to your plantation-style landscaping. They prefer rich soil and full sun to part shade.
No Southern Plantation garden would be complete without roses. Most people think they are hard to grow, but only require three steps - pick the right rose for space, ensure full sun for six hours a day, and water regularly.
The addition of these plants is guaranteed to get your plantation-style garden noticed. They are easy to grow and maintain and make a fantastic addition to any landscaping plan.
Or Perhaps Some Container Gardening For Senior Citizens
Fresh air and sunshine tend to make people happy. Most people who have access to the outdoors on a regular basis tend to take this fact for granted. For seniors, spending time cultivating perennials, ferns and other plants outdoors is a great way to incur many benefits. These benefits include a general sense of well-being, a sharper mental state, better moods and increased physical health.
As you age, it becomes essential to take care of your mental and physical state. Container gardening is a great way to keep yourself sharp while boosting your health levels. Healthcare professionals consistently laud the benefits of gardening for seniors. Gardening is an exciting hobby that lowers your blood pressure, reduces stress and alleviates depression.
Physically speaking, taking care of garden plants promotes mobility and keeps your exceptional motor coordination skills sharp. One of the significant parts about modern gardening is that it no longer needs to take place in a dirt-filled plot of land. If you are worried about the physicality of growing in a traditional garden, then you have many other options.
One of the best options for seniors is to grow herbs, perennials, vegetables and other garden plants in containers. Container gardens are much more manageable for those who have a limited amount of space and time for their hobby. These gardens are perfect for someone who requires less strenuous activities but still wants to reap the benefits of spending time outdoors.
When shopping for container gardening supplies, make sure to choose items that are conducive to your living conditions. If you don't have much space, make sure not to plant a tree that requires a lot of room; choose something smaller like some ferns.
Be wary of the area you are going to plant in. Some plants need a lot of suns; others do well in the shade without much water. Also, consider the weight of the plants and the containers you plan on keeping them in. If you need to move your plant indoors during the winter, you may end up needing to pick something that is quickly moved.
Container gardening gives people of all ages a sense of purpose. Having a garden cultivates a sense of self-worth and promotes physical activity. Seniors benefit greatly when they take part in activities like container gardening.