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Novice gardener please help

Hi,this is my first time gardening. I’m very passionate but have no idea what I’m doing. 

Can you please help identify each image as friend or foe? Plant or weed?

is there a way you can tell a flower from a weed?

thanks in advance



Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,441
    They’re all usually regarded as ‘weeds’ apart from the finely divided blue-grey leaves at the top of the fourth picture which looks like escholtzia californica. 

    Theres no no hard and fast rule I’m afraid  ... you have to get to know plants and decide on your style of gardening. 😊 

    hope that helps ... you can always ask us 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    Welcome to the forum, Emily, and to the wonderful world of gardening.  Most gardeners define a weed as a plant growing where it's not wanted.  So any plant has the potential to be a weed.  

    Some weeds such as the dreaded horsetail and Japanese knotweed, live for years and have deep roots which makes them difficult to dig out.  Often, with this sort, a new plant can grow from a tiny piece of root.  Other weeds such as goosegrass complete their life cycle in a single year, and disappear in the winter, but not before they have produced masses of seeds which get everywhere.  This kind tend to be low-growing, sprawling things that can quickly cover a lot of ground, but their bark is worse than their bite.  They are soft sappy things that can easily be gathered up in handfuls.

    I'll get back to you after lunch and ID some of your pictures, if someone hasn't beaten me to it while I'm filling my face.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    Hi, I'm back.

    The plant in the middle of your first picture goes by the common name of annual mercury, and the scientific name of Mercurialis annua.  (All plants have at least two names.  They can have any number of common names, which vary from language to language, country to country, and five gardeners in one street may know the same plant by five different names.  The scientific name is one which the top people in the world of plant science have agreed to call it, and even they change their minds sometimes.  By convention, scientific names are either written in italics or underlined.  Don't let any of this bother you, some of the best gardeners are illiterate.)  

    I agree with Dovefromabove about the Eschscholtzia, also known as California poppy, which a lot easier to spell.  The other plant that appears in most of your pictures is, I think one of the speedwells; does it have blue flowers?  There are several species of speedwell which look  and behave much alike.  Try googling Veronica hederifolia, V. chamaedrys or V. persica if you're bothered to know which. 

    A sharp hoe is your best friend for controlling weeds.  They can't usually be eliminated completely.  Hoeing regularly between the plants that are meant to be there will remove the top growth, and if you do it often enough, the roots will give up and die. Compared to weedkillers, hoeing is cheap, and does no harm to children, pets or wildlife.

    Have fun in your garden, and come back to the forum as often as you like, there are no silly questions.  We all had to start somewhere.
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    I'd turn that soil over removing all in the picture and buy some nice flowering plants 😊
  • josusa47 said:
    Hi, I'm back.

    The plant in the middle of your first picture goes by the common name of annual mercury, and the scientific name of Mercurialis annua.  (All plants have at least two names.  They can have any number of common names, which vary from language to language, country to country, and five gardeners in one street may know the same plant by five different names.  The scientific name is one which the top people in the world of plant science have agreed to call it, and even they change their minds sometimes.  By convention, scientific names are either written in italics or underlined.  Don't let any of this bother you, some of the best gardeners are illiterate.)  

    I agree with Dovefromabove about the Eschscholtzia, also known as California poppy, which a lot easier to spell.  The other plant that appears in most of your pictures is, I think one of the speedwells; does it have blue flowers?  There are several species of speedwell which look  and behave much alike.  Try googling Veronica hederifolia, V. chamaedrys or V. persica if you're bothered to know which. 

    A sharp hoe is your best friend for controlling weeds.  They can't usually be eliminated completely.  Hoeing regularly between the plants that are meant to be there will remove the top growth, and if you do it often enough, the roots will give up and die. Compared to weedkillers, hoeing is cheap, and does no harm to children, pets or wildlife.

    Have fun in your garden, and come back to the forum as often as you like, there are no silly questions.  We all had to start somewhere.

    Wow thank you so much josusa47 so thorough, I got rid of them all yesterday and I think I will be able to recognise them again as they pop up. 


  • Is this one in the second picture maybe a euphorbia...? 


    Thanks for your help. Yes California poppies were on a online ‘easiest things to grow list’ and they seem to be growing very well.


  • Thanks to everyone for your help so far!

    I’m so upset I managed to grow this beautiful lupin before white bugs attacked it. I have sprayed the whole thing with pest spray but unsure what to do now? I imagine I should remove all the dead petals, is it able to grow back? 

    Is anyone one able to identify the very long plants crowding my lupin in the healthy picture. I moved the lupin yesterday to give it a bit more space.
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,500
    Everlasting sweet pea 
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,120
    Lupin aphids are a regular problem here, nasty little b****rs.  This year I used a spray of neem oil (diluted in water with a squirt of washing-up liquid) and so far, so good.
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