I Like Weeds

Well, sort of at this time of year. I even let the same weeds shown here grow in my rear beds if they find their way in amongst all the lilies and iris. I do know better, but calling them weeds is what most people do. It diminishes their importance and desire to have them in a well-groomed garden full of lilies and Delphinium.

When I cleaned out this bed this week to plant lilies and Allium, they were flowering right along side the hydrangea and roses, still in bloom. The roses were removed and two more small hydrangea planted.

Let’s Stay at My Rock Pile Awhile

This rock pile in the first image is just that, a rock pile. These are rocks found at the farm and dumped here to become specimen rocks in fancy gardens. If only the clients knew these are not rocks shipped in from exotic places. Look at the color of the blue limestone rock next to the asters.

Serendipity. And, it is as if nature directed this symphony, throwing in the complementary yellows to up the tempo.

Sorry, but you need some weedy background. I will save bulb planting for a later post, after all I was having such a good time, ha ha..

I am sure the roses in my garden were cussing at me each time I went by because I left in these unwelcome interlopers, but the more mild manner Hydrangea did not mind the colorful, and seemingly well-behaved visitors.

In fact, the Hydrangea think that the roses are fussy snobs, and I have to agree. I can hear the Hydrangea give a low rumbling chuckle as the Japanese Beetles and aphids have their way with the roses. But the roses get in a sarcastic laugh when the sun is strongย  and the hydrangea is pouting up a storm.

I made the hydrangea ecstatic by removing those roses and moving in two Hydrangea offspring that I layered last year of the mother plant. They are very grateful and happy to be reunited, I am sure.

Back to the Weeds

The wild flowers above are so full and beautiful.ย  You can see the last of the goldenrod, but the small daisy-like aster, called daisy fleabane is blooming strongly right along side the larger ox-eye daisy. In fact, there is some sneezewort mixed in amongst the rocks. Not all weeds are shown, though.

I don’t let the wild asters go to seed in my garden, but I do enjoy the late garden arrival of these petite little blooms. They just sneak in from under the shelter of the iris, then poke their little flower heads out into the sun. I even think they duck when they see me coming, but I just might be imagining this.

Above, at the rock pile, they salute me as I go by. I probably took their offspring home with me as wee seeds to my garden as stowaway on my work boots and clothing. They always appear happy when I come to take their photo. Again, maybe my imagination.

I just love all the textures in the image below. The light tan, soft dried cloud weaving through the image and all through the rock pile. Harsh, dark dried seed heads and cold, rough boulders play off the delicate curly grass fronds and pillow like open seed heads. The browns and greens framing the top and bottom of the photo; I see a lot in a pile of weeds. And if you want to see more, click the image to make it larger.

I guess you should see my favorite rock pile in its Fall finery context with the rusty farm machinery art in the background.

Back to September

Let’s look and see what my rock pile looked like back in early September. The colors are more vibrant and the butterflies were singing with happiness, the back light passing through delicate wings almost glowing with fiery color.

The rocks were in the same spots, but the foliage was alive in color and texture. More rocks can be seen as the wild flowers are just coming into their own. The goldenrod is just breaking into flower. The blue rock jumps out in the sea of yellow and white.

A lone Viceroy finds the goldenrod yellows delicious or just a place to warm his wings.

This sad Viceroy looks a little worse for wear. Maybe a predator or two took a bite. He was kind enough to pose for me seeing I may have been a giant with a long proboscis (the zoom camera lens, not my nose) looking to make him a meal.

We can end our look back with thistley loveliness. Stop in later in the week for the nursery trees showing off in Fall. These youngsters have a lot to crow about as they blaze red and yellow. Till then , have a nice weekend.


I just came back from Onenezz’s blog and she has found many creatures that like weeds. It is a really good read, so make sure to stop by and let her know.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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19 Responses to I Like Weeds

  1. Karen says:

    Greetings from another person who loves a good rock pile! You have captured some wonderful pictures once again; all the textures with the grasses, asters, goldenrod and thistles. I like your ‘weeds’, too!

    • Hi Karen,
      I love stone walls and landscaping. I have a post coming up on stone wall construction, showing the guys setting rock. They are the same guys who dumped field and river stone in the rock pile I like so much. But on the job, they lay the stone and boulders a whole lot better.

  2. One says:

    Everything you show are beautiful. Even a butterfly with broken wings looks attractive here. Of course, weeds in your blog are also exceptionally beautiful. Do you know who else love weeds? http://onenezz.blogspot.com/2010/10/who-like-weeds.html

  3. fer says:

    Your garden looks amazing! I love how wild flowers bloom too, they have a special quality that makes them feel distinct. Is great to see how they attracted some butterflies too.

    • Actually, this is my nurseryman’s ‘garden’. Really it is just his rock dumping ground, nothing designed. I go there to select rocks to use in gardens. But I so much like that he can not mow this area. It gets so many butterflies in summer, and when I am not getting them in the Falls, I drive to the farm to get my fix.

  4. Gail says:

    I love weeds, too. I let them go to seed and make merry all over the garden~The native asters and goldenrods feed the last bumbles and butterflies that visit each fall. I like rocks, too! Your garden is lovely and I thoroughly, enjoyed your post~gail

    • If I did not live in the city, I too would let them go to seed. I just let the volunteers I bring home from the farm take root. I can not plan where they grow, but it is fun to find them when I am out in the garden.

  5. Town Mouse says:

    Believe it or now, I just paid real money for a California Native thistle that I want to grow in my garden. Supposedly, it won’t reseed (it’s a perennial). Now let’s keep my fingers crossed I’ll get butterflies…

    Great paintings!

    • Butterflies will come. No doubt. Thanks, but they are Photoshop paintings. I have a tablet which is like a pen to paint with. I can airbrush with it too. Photoshop and Painter, (which is a better painting application that I use), are really fast ways for me to do a graphic. Ten to fifteen minutes and I am done. If I do an acrylic or watercolor, which would turn out much more artistic, fifteen minutes would only cover the cleanup of brushes and mess. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. TS says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but after double checking your photos, I just didn’t find any weeds! I did see a fabulously wild garden, happy plants, and a monarch grateful for a meal and bit of refuge. But weeds? Didn’t see any!!

  7. tina says:

    Well I sure do love your weeds too. They look great like you even planned it all. Such wonderful textures! I have that ox eye myself and was not sure if I would pull it but I’m thinking it stays now. Poor monarch-surely does look worse for the wear. This is a beautiful spot in your garden truly.

    • I wish I had this much property. The farm is where I go to select plants and masonry for landscapes I design. I visit the deer and zebra and help out during Christmas making wreaths and garland. The owner is a good friend, so I visit often.

  8. I too love all these wild things! With few exceptions “weeds” are very important plants to one’s native habitat, have often unknown medicinal attributes (they may be poisonous if you do not know what you are doing), and offer food for all sorts of wild critters. Lovely photos illustrating their beauty and importance as feeders too. ;>)

    • Thanks, I wholeheartedly agree. I have been touting weeds importance and relationship to our pampered perennials and wildlife for years.

      When I first became a Master Gardener over 10 years ago, actually, so long I don’t really remember, I was turned on to weed’s ecological importance. And believe it or not, in architecture school, landscape classes (back in the late eighties) they also identified and promoted natural and native landscaping.

      There is so much to learn and garnish from ‘weeds’ that we are losing that ability to do the science by rampant use of broad based herbicides. Losing the wildlife (bugs) and wild flowers (weeds) is both a result of habitat loss and direct killing. We are losing a very important part of the symbiotic relationship between organisms by selective elimination.

      I am so glad the bees are making a little headway again. We have a bee keeper coming to speak with our Master Gardeners soon. She will give us the update on the bees plight.

      Soil life is also in jeopardy. There have been less earthworms and other beneficials in recent years. So many factors, that fixing one (say water runoff for instance) is only a drop in a really big bucket. Sorry for the soap box reply, but that is why I post on weeds. I try not to get preachy in the posts though.

  9. Great piece! I wish we had more rocks on the property but Farmer Man’s father cleaned them out pretty well! The few decent ones we’ve found are in the borders. We manage (sort of) the borders right around the house but most of the rest of the property is left natural. The shelter belt can be more gorgeous than the borders – we, too, have lots of natives blooming in there! And I love knowing that we’re providing a good home to critters, birds and insects!

  10. I like that fluffy, airy grass with the farm machinery in the background — what is that? Thanks for sharing these — your textures are so beautiful. I feel a sneeze coming on just looking at the sneezewort! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I like wild gardens and rock piles. I keep some piles around for the lizards to bask on. I just don’t like it when non-local weeds reseed! The local bums are fine by me. That’s what I’m all about actually… Lovely paintings indeed!

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