It should be called Weedflower Wednesday around the Fairegarden in January, for those are the wildlings blooming with carefree abandon at the moment.
The worst offender, one of the plants we refer to as *born pregnant* begins flowering at the just about large enough to be able to pull it out of the ground stage. The blooms are quite small, sometimes not even noticeable from five feet eye level, but they pack a punch in the seed production department.
In many places of the garden, larger leaves of plants like Hellebores keep the population in check, but in the mysterious, magical miasma of the gravel paths, knot garden quadrants and the official Gravel Garden, this repeat offender goes on a seeding spree before it is even warm enough to think about weeding.
But this year, with the warmer air temperature and a Taurean determination, the knot garden gravel paths were tackled with exhilarating zeal. Seated on the little scooter, with hori hori in hand, a large plastic tub to hold the prisoners and bundled up to the nines, tens and elevens, every square inch of gravel was dug and sifted for the assortment of bitter cress, oxalis and anything else that was not a viola baby. Those precious viola sprouts were replanted along the four edges in amongst the store boughts of the fall planting.
In between below freezing mornings, a small section was attacked for a few hours, until my back was screaming and my fingers were freezing, even inside the felt lined nitrile coated gloves. Finally, the job was complete. Check! I was finished just in time for the beginning of blooming. It is hoped that in this case more will be less. That is, more weeding now will mean less weeds next year.
But really, a mere human mustn’t be so smug about thinking she is somehow in charge, or in control, or even keeping head above the swiftly moving current, for while our attention was lasered in on the bitter cress, another early blooming wildflower had been growing….
The bit players in this play are the winter annuals, bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta, and henbit, Lamium amplexicaule. Natives from Europe, these two travel arm in stem to enliven a landscape in the depths of grey and brown season. Thanks, but no thanks, you guys!
Please join my friend Gail of Clay And Limestone each month to feature the wildflowers that might be growing in your garden or neighborhood, on or about the fourth Wednesday, or anytime.