What 'Weeds' would you willingly (allow to) grow:

Looking around at various sites, a common theme is that quite a few plants held up as being very good for insects, are also those typically reviled as Weeds, regardless of where they are growing e.g Dandelions/Dandelion look-a-likes (Hawkbit, Hawksbeard etc), Common Daisies, Clover. 

Personally I think the various 'Dandelion' type flowers are quite pretty, but I know everyone else would never go for it (though I'm tempted to try and get part way there with some pink hawksbeard which isn't the same thing I know).

But anyway, what 'Weeds', if any, do people grow (or more likely, allow to grow) that would leave 'traditional' gardeners aghast, but they think are quite nice or are not nearly as problematic as they're cracked up to be?


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  • B3B3 Posts: 10,013
    Daisy toadflax aquilegia one or two euphorbia if they're in the right place ditto elderberry and celandine. feverfew scarlet pimpernel iris foetidisima (sp) oxalis,the little creeping toadflax, lords and ladies, fennel to name but a few.
    I don't use weedkiller, so there's always plenty to choose from😕
    My garden is about 60% pretty weeds and self seeders like vb nigella forgetmenot and the dreaded Spanish bluebell.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 310
    Herb Robert, Herb Bennett, Nipplewort, Wall lettuce, Celandine, Fox and cubs ( or as my late mum called it,  'Grim the Collier'), Bird's-eye, Hawkbit, and a few others are welcome in my garden. If they become too 'boisterous' they are easily removed .
    I love wild flowers and the common names of them too.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 539
    Anything but bindweed, ground elder and mares tail is allowed to grow as long as not squashing something else.  Although having said that I have a big patch of ground elder that escaped notice and is now in flower and is so pretty it has a stay of execution for a few more days. 

    Our lawn is maybe only 20% grass, but I think it looks pretty.
  • HouseFinchHouseFinch British Columbia, Canada (Zone 5)Posts: 229
    Violets. Lots and lots of violets. They are taking over the lawn and I absolutely love it. I have even planted some in the flower beds along the front to act as a weed suppressant :D
    They add a whole other dimension of shape and greenery. Plus they bloom. They are a trailing variety-so they seem fairly invasive.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,280
    In the spring my borders were swamped with speedwell and as I don't like bare soil I left them until the bulbs were going over.  I tolerate pretty much anything that wants to grow in the grass: daisies, creeping buttercup, self-heal, white clover and yellow compositae that I can't be bothered to ID.  Welsh poppies grow pretty much everywhere; except where they're deliberately sown or planted: IME, they won't grow to order.  When I moved here, there was a mature elder, and I plan to grow some more from seed; I think it's much under-rated.  Blossom, fruit and fairy folklore all in one almost maintenance-free hardy plant.  What's not to like?  I've got purple toadflax in several places, and I plant to transplant them all into the purple end of my rainbow border.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,529
    edited 17 August
    purple toadflax, yellow toadflax. cleavers, red clover. white clover, daisies, dandelions, bugle, nettles (dead and stinging), angelica, english bluebells, campion, meadow rue, knapweed, foxgloves, primroses, hogweed, cow parsley, milk maids, fox and cubs, elder, hawthorn, blackthorn, ash, oak, goat willow, hazel, buddleia, assorted solanum relatives, most of which I haven't identified, fairly sure I've got some hemlock in the ditch, bullrushes, honeysuckle, ivy, haven't got any old man's beard yet, wild sorrel, wild chamomile, I even put up with the docks though I'd rather there were fewer of them, brambles, dog roses, all sorts of grasses, ox eye daisies and centaurea (I introduced both of those), cranesbill, creeping buttercups and quite a lot of thistles.

    They aren't all allowed to grow anywhere, but all of them are here somewhere (except the Old Man's Beard). I have a very large 'garden' (nearly 2 acres) only a relatively small part of which I actually Garden in the sense most people would mean that. The rest of it has mown paths, but is largely left to itself. It used to be sheep pasture. I find it fascinating to watch the process by which it is reverting to a really quite diverse range of plants. it starts with docks and nettles but over the years, others begin to get a foothold. The hogweed and angelica have both been particularly good this year.

    I have planted a few things in amongst the wilderness - bluebells, some naturalising narcissus and the ox eye daisies and centaurea. I've now got some big clumps of geranium Rozanne in amongst as well.

    Most people would be horrified at the mess, I'm sure.
    It's hard to love, there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 376
    edited 17 August
    Pink or yellow wood sorrel, henbit, wild passion flower vine, borage, standing cypress, blanket flowers, Tx bluebonnets, Indian Paint Brush, buttercups, crocus, day flowers, purple spiderwort (both dwarf and giant), coral vine, wild cabbage (bloom yellow), wild daisies, pink gentian, and wild larkspur, to name a few. 
    My low-carb recipe site:www.buttoni.wordpress.com
  • B3B3 Posts: 10,013
    I forgot violets and primroses!
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,774
    Violets, cowslips, primroses, white dead nettles, stinging nettles, some sort of campion, toadflax, wild pansies and sometimes field pansies, scabious, knapweed, cow parsley, garlic mustard, oxeye daisy, liniaria purpurea, poppies when they can be bothered, daisies in the lawn, dandelion (I have potted some up to save them), iris foetidissima, geranium dissectum. That's about it but if the birds bring something interesting, it stays.



  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 338
    Some of the above lists contain plants which I wouldn't classify as weeds.  I wouldn't allow anything to go 'freelance ' if the seed heads produced 'clocks' which would infiltrate gardens where weeds weren't tolerated, eg dandelions and similar, willow herb and thistles with their down. Much as I like 'fairies' floating around, they can be a real nuisance to many. After all,  there's lots of waste land where they can provide for wildlife. 
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