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Wildflower or weed

rsmaughanrsmaughan Posts: 4
Good morning all:) 
Ive been trying to grow a wildflower garden but not doing very well as I cannot tell what is a flower and what is a weed. I have attached photos to see if anyone can identify them. Any help will be greatly appreciated, TIA 


  • Good morning. Your first photo is a violet. I have some of these and they flower everywhere. Valerie 
  • Loraine3Loraine3 Posts: 571
    Top one is a Violet
    4.Alchemilla mollis
    6.Geum Urbanum
    8.Dead Nettle
    9.Herb Robert
    Bottom one looks like Hypericum

  • rsmaughanrsmaughan Posts: 4
    Thank you Valerieroberts! And Loraine3 for your speedy responses.
    I like the sound of Violets and Herb Robert but are the others weeds?
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 920
    Lots of wildflowers are considered as weeds by many gardeners. Geranium urbinum is commonly included in wildflower mixes as its good for pollinators and is for one of the common butterfly caterpillars ditto Lamium- can’t remember which caterpillar right now.
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,511
    edited May 2021
    It's up to you which ones you like. The only one I'd say that you really don't want is geum urbanum
    You have some hairy bittercress behind the violet. You don't want them either.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • rsmaughanrsmaughan Posts: 4
    Thank you all, yes B3 I’ve just looked up the urbanum and it seems it’s a bit of a nuisance! I’ve also been trying to eliminate the bittercress but it pops up everywhere, trouble is when weeding I’m probably pulling up new shoots of a beautiful wildflower 😕
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,210
    Filling in some gaps:
    2. Vetch
    3. Yarrow
    5. Hedge parsley
    7. Ragwort?

    If you're growing a wildflower garden you might welcome any or all of the plants you've photographed.  Native plants provide food and habitats for a huge variety of invertebrates, as well as attractive leaves and flowers, but many of them are successful because they spread easily, by seed or roots.  Whether that bothers you is entirely up to you.  I'd welcome them all in my wild garden, though I'm having difficulty getting rid of vetch from my veg patch (it has long white traily roots).  However, its purple flowers are very pretty.  I've got violets in my lawn as well as under the trees.  Hedge parsley on a woodland edge is gorgeous.  Geum urbanum, wood avens, is pretty in woodland but tends to pop up where you don't want it in your flower beds, if you have any.  Alchemilla mollis isn't native to Britain but would fit in well to a wildflower garden.

    The one plant I'd be a bit more careful of, is ragwort.  It's an important food plant for the caterpillars of the mullein moth, and I leave it in my meadow until the flowers start setting seed, when I remove the flower heads and bag them up.  My garden is between 2 fields of cattle and sheep, and ragwort is poisonous to them, so I make sure it doesn't escape.
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • Most of your photos are of plants that are what is considered a weed. Uncultivated plants that are basic and spread taking up space quickly and giving little back in terms of large flowers or bright colours. Over the years some weeds have been cultivated and by selective breeding made into larger flowering plants. But mostly your plants could rapidly take up all the space available and crowd out delicate flowers, leaving you with a palette of tough leaves and shades of green. Most people have limited space so get rid of the plants considered as weeds, to have brights colours and floriferous plants. I hope that answers the reason why most of us get rid of those kind of plants in our gardens. Valerie 
  • rsmaughanrsmaughan Posts: 4
    Thank you Liriodendron and valerieroberts for your input. Of course Liriodendron I want to welcome a mixture of weed and wildflower to benefit all wildlife but as valerieroberts mentions not to the detriment of the tiny species that will be shadowed. I am fortunate to have a separate section of garden for this project so I think I will try and find a balance and cut back or limit the growth of the more rampant weeds. It would be nice though to see all the pretty colourful flowers swaying delicately in the wind know like you see on the box 😏
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,511
    My garden is at least 50% 'weeds' or self seeders. I encourage the ones I like e.g. Toadflax, valerian, wild fennel, aquilegia, centauria, violets, primroses, feverfew and I dig out the ones I don't want. The over enthusiastic ones like herb Robert, forget me not and nigella and VB get thinned out.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
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