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Plant or wildflower or weed....

Sam80Sam80 Posts: 40

:) I could use some wisdom please...

How can you tell if something is a plant/wildflower/weed.  Does anyone have a secret method of knowing, a book that easily tells you, or do you just wait to see if it flowers and then if you like it, keep it? (regardless of it's a "weed" as some are very pretty and good for wildlife).

I have only been in my house for 2 years and I have so many things appearing I would be posting 10 messages a day asking for IDs.  Last year I used my hoe on a peony, it's only this year (with a little gardening experience) that I realised what it was and have left it alone!

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.... Thanks



  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,318
    Hi @Sam80 I can understand your confusion but there is no easy answer I'm afraid. Most people will tell you that a weed is a plant in the wrong place - I would add any plant that takes over and causes mayhem. Some wildflowers are gorgeous and fairly easy to control others just take the Michael and spread themselves everywhere.

    You say you have been in your house for 2 years, you need to look carefully at the garden in all seasons and take pictures. Some stuff no-one wants, dandelion, bindweed, dock etc. but I have day lilies that are complete thugs and require severe remedial treatment every year.

    Start with the obvious and work from there, I found several websites that were useful - sadly they were too often weedkiller sites but they had good pictures.

    Good luck and enjoy  :)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,255
    Bring on the 10 ID requests a day!
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,169
    LG_ said:
    Bring on the 10 ID requests a day!
    👍  we’re up for it 😀 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Sam80Sam80 Posts: 40
    Thanks very much, nice friendly bunch on here.  Careful what you wish for though! ;)  I'm keen to learn and I need to learn A LOT! 
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,996
    Simple. Since I started my current garden from scratch, I know by name all of the plants I planted in it. Any plant that I did not plant is a weed and gets removed. Well, except for the tall, approx. 30 year-old Caucasian fir which I did not plant myself and is obviously not a weed. ;)
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,567
    If you weed out everything you didn't plant, you can miss out on some beautiful wildflowers - but you also miss out on the weeds!
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,996
    I do like beautiful wildflowers ... in their wild habitat. I've even created a traditional and an online herbarium for the wild species near my home. It's here (in French only, sorry).
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,567
    I prefer to be a referee in my garden rather than the controller. I often find that nature has more imagination than I do. Your garden is beautiful PJ, but I like mine too😉
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    Referee is a great description!  I have my plants that I’ve planted, and in between are all sorts.  Evil thugs like bindweed and ground elder are removed as much as possible, and pesky things like bitter cress,  but others I let do what they want, if they are too free seeding I pull them up once they’ve flowered like coryopsis and forget me not.   Others are just gently reminded not to spread too far.   Had I an endless supply of mulch perhaps it would be more ordered, but at least they cover the ground.  
  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,387
    I spotted a couple of aquilegia growing in my border a month or so ago - I only recognised them as aquilegia because I'd bought some bare root ones this year to grow and saw the similarity in the leaves.

    I moved them to a more suitable spot to see how they would flower - they've got beautiful deep purple flowers as it turns out.

    Very pleased with them, especially as they were self seeded freebies - never had them before!
    East Yorkshire
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