My Favorite Greenery


The other day, my friend Debbie was here sitting on my back porch. She pointed at this large weedy growth at the corner of the deck and said, “You know that’s a weed, don’t you?”
Apparently, she doesn’t spend enough time reading my website because I’ve written quite a bit about intentional weed cultivation. Intentional weed cultivation takes only a willingness to not weed, so I’m surprised it’s not more popular.

I said, “Yes, I know it’s a weed. You need to relax. Don’t be so anal retentive.”

Debbie looked at me. “Annual retentive?”

“Anal retentive.”

Then she said something I can’t repeat because this is a G-rated website. Lately it seems as if I can’t tell any of the best stories around here.

Anyway, this weedy whatever it is (if you know what it’s called, feel free to educate me) is a perfect greenery addition in flower arrangements. I don’t think we had any of it over at the other farm, but there’s quite a bit of it at Sassafras Farm. Last year, I stumbled on to its usefulness in bouquets and it’s been my favorite foil to flowers ever since.

Take some yellow roses……
Some lamb’s ear……
And some weedy whatever…..
And look what you’ve got!
I’m sure this would look even nicer if I cleaned off this table, but you know…. I think that would conflict with the free spirit of this weed-driven arrangement.
Then Morgan caught me feeding Maia her water bottle. “You know you have to stop giving her that bottle.”
And I had to start all over again. “You need to relax….”

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 3, 2013  

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18 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 6-3

    I think you’ve got a great idea. I’m in the process of moving to a farmhouse myself, so I’m going to give it a shot. Why not start out right? I might even try to take it a step further and plant some weeds. I want to encourage Monarch butterfly growth by providing milkweed to the little insects. With my luck, just the intention of cultivating the weed will cause it to die. Who knows.
    Lovely flower arrangement!

  2. 6-3

    Looks like plain ol’ ragweed to me. Ah-Choo!! (#1 most common allergen)

  3. 6-3

    Looks like pigweed to me. Google “pigweed pictures” to verify.
    Kinda pretty though. Each one of those millions of little flowers will send seeds out and you’ll have a whole garden full next year!

  4. 6-3

    I think it’s what we call dock around here. Google “dock greens”. Very common.

  5. 6-3

    Although it is interesting it’s Pigweed and if left alone will reproduce like mad. It is a nasty allergen. If you use it for arrangements you may wish to leave them outside, especially if you are running a workshop. It might make your guests very sick.

  6. 6-3

    These are for arrangements in my house. It doesn’t bother us.

  7. 6-3

    Yup, it’s curly dock. But it looks pretty in your arrangement, anyway. What makes you happy is what matters!

  8. 6-3

    The glorious amaranth!! Not only does it make pretty arrangements, but it makes a nutritious meal:)

  9. 6-3

    I was curious about it and Googled the names people came up with and I found this. So it does look just like curly Dock which can be poisonous to cattle, sheep and chickens. Maybe you should pull it before it spreads. It is pretty and I don’t mind pretty weeds myself.

  10. 6-3

    Definitely a dock. I have it, too, and my goat eats it. Not sure if curly or yellow. That’s what I’ve narrowed mine down to.
    Not pigweed, which is amaranth, whose teeny tiny seeds are popped like corn in South America, among other uses for humans.
    Yes, gazillions of seeds, and very perennial, but those taproots bring up good nutrients, so there’s a rationale for keeping it. Nutrients for your compost.

  11. 6-3

    Is “curly dock” the kind of greens you eat?
    I didn’t know it was harmful to chickens…it was always around our chicken house when I was a kid. But maybe not, maybe that was one of the other weeds people have mentioned here. I sure don’t know my weeds like I thought I did! i’m with you Suzanne…I think I’ll just relax and let them grow.

  12. 6-3

    You are growing some healthy looking Yellow Dock. Must be all the chicken manure fertilizing it.

  13. 6-3

    I’m suggesting changing the website rating to R-rated ;) . No telling what you could dish up with our curly dock flower arrangement.

  14. 6-3

    A weed is just a flower that is out of place. When we moved to the country 25 years ago, I didnt know from weeds, dandelions were all that I knew, I was amazed at all of the wild ivy growing out here. I dug it up and transplanted it around the house, until the rash and the itch began, I started to learn with that experience. :yes:
    Some flowering weeds are beautiful, as long as they dont hurt us or our pets, I am fine with them.

  15. 6-3

    It’s not a weed!! Well maybe a weed with a second use. Dock seed is sold and can be used as an early spring vegetable. Tastes like spinach. There is a guy in NYC doing foraging classes in the park and curly dock is something they find and eat. I’m sure he’s got a website – Wildman Bill Brill – check it out.

  16. 6-3

    I’m voting for curly dock.

    Edible in moderation.

  17. 6-6

    My definition of a weed is anything you don’t want in your garden. So it’s a plant that you want then it’s not a weed. :happyflower:

  18. 7-15

    Yup, Its dock alright, I let it grow in my garden next to the other veges, the young tender leaves can be picked and eaten in the early spring,(cook like spinach), or in a salad, after they get bigger they turn bitter though. I have heard that the seeds can be winnowed and used to make crackers, I was going to try in this winter and never go around to it. The chickens eat the seed, they seem fine with it. I do try and keep the seeds cut because they will take over everything, the plants come back ever year on their own. Once they set seed there the plants are there for the duration, cant kill the things. Have a great and busy day.

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