This year the weeds in our yard are abundant. There are times when I hate weeding the garden. In fact this year, Steve put some garden edging/fencing in hopes to keep the weeds at bay a bit more. However, there are also some reasons to keep those weeds. Here are a few I love.
Wildlife Visitors!Hazel loves having the rabbits in the yard. One morning we actually had three. Our back yard has a few large clover patches and the rabbits love it. They have also discovered my baby lettuce plants and have eaten one almost completely, but luckily they seem to be leaving the others alone and going for the clover.
Child Picked Flower Bouquets!We almost always have a vase or a cup of wild flowers on our kitchen table this time of year. Hazel knows she can pick the violets and dandelions to her heart's content. She is also allowed to pick her pansies since she planted them, so those have been added in here. An interesting thing we have discovered: if you leave dandelions in water long enough they will turn to seeds so you can blow on them. In the beginning of the spring I was telling her to leave some unpicked so she could blow on them, but now she doesn't have to.
Weed Flower Crafts!Whether it is using the flowers to paint or smashing them with a rolling pin (or hammer) to make art, I do not care when she is using dandelions, violets and buttercups. It gives her the freedom to use them however she wants and to truly explore nature. They also make good additions to mud pies and sand cakes. We decorate with them all the time when we are playing in her garden or sandbox.
Do You Love Butter? Test
Do you remember having fun as a child, holding buttercups under friends' chins to see if they love butter? I do and I want Hazel to find the same joy in simple nature. Of course if you want a science lesson on the buttercup game check out the science behind it here.
Another simple joy in nature is whistling with grass. Did you do that as a child? If you do not know what I am talking about, you can check out this tutorial.
There are other benefits to weeds. Some are edible like the dandelion and violet. Many also have healing benefits. I know my mother is very into holistic medicine and often discusses the herbs that many people consider weeds as hard to find because people do not want weeds. Plus there are benefits to your soil for keeping some weeds. The weeds will grow in poor soil, but will often replace the nutrients into the soil for a better balance. For more information on the soil benefit read here. Finally I read recently (and cannot remember where) that some animals are having issues because people are not growing the native plants for their areas. The insects and other animals are losing their food, habitats and more.
So these are some of the reasons why I love weeds and have not minded the large number we have growing in our yard. I see each one as a toy/learning tool for Hazel. She is discovering the world with them and also enjoying some flowers of her own. Of course the bigger problem right now for us in our yard is the grub infestation in the front yard, but our landscaper is going to deal with that problem for us.
What fun activities do you have for your weeds?