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Weeds…..

Many years ago I was at the Boston Flower Show with a dear friend. We decided to take a lunch break & due to the crowds in the dining room, joined a lone woman at her table. She lived in the Hull area & was often frustrated that the plants she carefully chose and planted died within a very short time. After many attempts to beautify her plot of land, she nearly gave up until she looked at the weeds thriving in her yard. She theorized that if she investigated the habitat requirements for the uninvited weeds and then sought plants that needed the same conditions, she’d finally have a garden that bloomed! I’ve often thought about her exercise in plantsmanship & wished I’d asked her name.

Today as I was browsing in the Gardening section, I came across an intriguing title: The Book of Weeds: How to Deal with Plants that Behave Badly by Ken Thompson. (Call # 632.5 THO)

The chapter headings have catchy names:

What is it about Weeds? –Unwanted, unappealing, unrelenting
Weeding Them Out- Dig, hoe and mulch
Rogues’ Gallery: Annuals-Here today, still here tomorrow
Rogues’ Gallery: Perennials- Persistent, resistant, defiant
Rogues’ Gallery: Water weeds- Floating, choking, or spreading

Before you begin planning this year’s garden peruse Thompson’s book for great advice, “with eco-friendly solutions for environmentally responsible gardeners, this is the practical and achievable guide to winning the war against weeds.”

More Books on Weeds:
The Book of Field and Roadside: Open-country weeds, trees, and wildflowers of eastern North America by John Eastman (Call #581.974 EAS)
A guide to plant life in open dryland habitats with fascinating facts, folklore & detailed, beautiful drawings.

Common weeds of the United States. Prepared by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Dept. of Agriculture. (Call #581.652 UNI)
Covers 220 important weeds with illustrations, maps, botanical information, plant lore for each. Over 225 illustrations.

So you like weeds…???  Here are a few titles for you:

Weeds in My Garden: Observations on some Misunderstood Plants by Charles B. Heiser.
Call # 632.5 HEI
Heiser, a noted Indiana U. botanist who studied weeds for decades, makes a case for the virtues of these maligned plants.

Weeds in Winter by written and illustrated by Lauren Brown Call # 581.652 BRO
Brown has done an excellent job of making 20 categories of weeds easily identifiable with her charming and simple pen & ink drawings. Accompanying each illustration is the common and latin name of the weed, as well as a description of it. The descriptions are a pleasure to read, and very informative.

Wildly Successful Plants: a Handbook of North American Weeds by Lawrence J. Crockett (Call # 581.652 CRO)
This is not a book about weeds-it’s about honeysuckle, morning glory, cattail, day lily, primrose …as well as all the other beautiful and useful wildflowers..it tells you about more than 100 of these weedy species…whether you want to admire them as wildflowers or annihilate them as weeds…they are here to stay.

Unusual Books about Weeds
Wicked Plants: the Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart

The Weedless Garden is good for plants and it’s good for people. It protects the soil, contributes to plant health, reduces water needs, cuts down on a gardener’s labor, encourages earthworms and, of course, mitigates weed problems by keeping the seeds dormant.

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