There was nothing to be seen. However, it is a real change of attitude that has happened in the garden in a few years.
No Other Weeds
Before we taxed the herbs that grew spontaneously in our flower beds as “bad”. We have to say that they invade all the weeds, they grow earlier and faster than the other plants we try to grow, that they are taller and more resistant… In short, the “mourning widow’s clothes” had no coast and we were systematically uprooting them. But that was before.
From “bad”, they first became “unwanted!” The gardener then hesitates between a prefix (-in) that keeps them at a reasonable distance from his heart and a suffix (-able) that paves the way for a possible symbiosis.
Widow’s Mourning Garments
Then there were the weedy mourning garments of a widow. A scientific term, meaningless to the uninitiated, as if hiding behind the complexity of a word the ability of these plants to grow in the smallest corner of the earth where no one wants to see them grow.
It still doesn’t seem like much, but a change has well and truly begun: widow’s mourning clothes are now tolerated anywhere they no longer interfere with human civilizations.
Wild Herbs: Towards Acceptance
Finally, the “widow’s mourning clothes” have nowadays become “wild herbs”. Wild to emphasize their ability to grow anywhere, on the edges of roads and paths, on the right-of-way of railroad tracks, on the edge of a sidewalk, in cracks in concrete or asphalt, in the middle of perennial garden plants, among annuals, among the vegetables of course…” wild to also emphasize the natural and spontaneous character of their presence. “wild animals”, finally like the animals that so many men respect. Wild grasses are incredible: they manage on their own, without the help of man.
This openness to tolerance and respect for wild herbs is advocated by Brunhilde Bross-Burkardt in her book “Weeds, I love you” (published by Delachaux and Niestlé), This German gardener underlines the usefulness of these plants to provide real biodiversity in the garden . Therefore, he does not hesitate to paint a portrait of them while advocating gentle control rather than simple eradication, a step ahead of the Labbé law which outlawed the use of pesticides outright. Thus, the bryone dioïque (cover photo), if allowed to develop, can happily occupy a fence to protect itself from view, yet not disturb anyone.
Weeds Are Eaten Too!
We can very well imagine you complaining about unwanted weeds, especially dandelions that like all over your lawn or that let themselves spill over onto paths. In fact, did you know that these plants are edible and can also be grown in the vegetable garden?
In this case, we also give dandelions a more noble name: “dent-de-lion” or “monk’s crown”. Their jagged leaves, with their bitterness and crunch, are prized in salads. But you can also prepare them in soup or make delicious jams from dandelion flowers, for example. .
Cut the rosette at ground level with a knife to test the bleached parts of the leaves. they are less bitter. Also take the flower buds. If you’re interested in cooking with weed, you’ll find more information in this herb and spice guide.