There’s a saying with gardeners that, “a weed is just a plant growing in the wrong spot.” In fact, there are quite a few quotes that reflect on this premise.
I’ve always liked that idea. Dandelions, clover, thistle, among others, are always getting a bad reputation from people who believe that gardens should be perfectly manicured. I’m not a member of that group. I mean, I can appreciate the hard work and creativity that goes into what I call ‘display gardens’. However, I’m more of a natural garden aficionado. Or as a friend calls it, ‘lazy-person gardening.’
My backyard is one of those semi-natural places. I like to keep it so because it attracts birds, and I love birds. In fact, I’ve had generations of cardinals, brown-thrashers, and house wrens that have called my backyard home for the past twenty years. I must be doing something right.
It also allows me to have a wide variety of wildflowers – oftentimes called weeds – growing amidst the St. Augustine grass that once dominated my yard. The most prolific is the clover. It’s great ground cover, feels cool under my bare feet on a hot day, and attracts honeybees. There’s actually a guy who lives down the road from me who has hives in his yard, so I assume these are his bees that I see buzzing around the blooms.
What I love most about the clover are the flowers – soft pink in color, a sharp contrast against the green leaves, the way they flutter in a gentle breeze. I sometimes get distracted looking at them when I’m watering my potted plants. I find it meditative. Maybe it’s the Irish in me.
Now that spring has arrived, and yellow pollen is covering every outdoor surface, the clover is again blooming..and I’m a happy man.