Introduction to My Wonderful Weed Weekly Blog

To talk kindly about the weeds in my weekly blog, we first need to identify those weeds of which many people despise…!

I found the RHS website very useful please see here.

and how to tackle them:

This website mentions over 20 most troublesome weeds, upon which I will hope to do a write up in the coming weeks. As my partner is going through 1000’s of pictures taken by him in the last 10 years, I will occasionally stray to another weed/native plant which I think is worth you knowing about!

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Bagnall’s Herbarium at Birmingham Botanical Collections

An example of Herbarium book with Japanese plants, Siebold collection Leiden, 1825
By P. F. Siebold – Sieboldcollectie Naturalis, Public Domain and thanks to Wikipedia

Hello dear Readers!

The Tuesdays of last few month I’ve been busy with research in Birmingham’s Museum Warehouses. I’ve been looking at the vast amount of dried specimen plants of one of the 6 or so Herbariums they have stored in there.

Why I wanted to research Bagnall’s Herbarium in particular was because of the many local native plants he collected as well as the many plants from Sutton Park. This is a national important nature reserve and SSSI. More about this later!

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Wonderful Weeds Weekly about: Weeds and Lawns

I found the information below interesting as many of my customers find weeds in their lawn unbearable.

They like a weed and moss-free, stripy cut lawn.

But to create this is a very high input and costly affair as it will need lots of maintenance with feed + weed-killers and watering in dry years!

Is this all worth it?

Maybe there is a market for a stripy astro turf!

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The Wonderful Weed Weekly Blog

To talk kindly about the weeds in my weekly blog, we first need to identify those weeds of which many people despise…!

I found the RHS website very useful please see here as well as how to tackle them.

I don’t really want to repeat what this brilliant website says, as my weekly blog wants to highlight the positive things about those weeds which are also just being themselves; one of the many native plants of these Isles. They grow in soil and habitat that they naturally like to grow in and often we are actually helping them greatly by providing a pleasant environment to thrive even more!

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LOVE YOUR WEEDS!

In the last blog I explained some scientific terms which you will find in my blogs. This time I explain a little more why I want to start a blog all about Ethnobotany and our native plants..

The more I work with all kinds of plants, in my daily life and work, the more I appreciate them, and this even includes ‘WEEDS’, or our native plants as I prefer to call them; or even wild flowers as many are pretty as well as useful…. Or ‘PRETTY USEFUL’!!

Crambe maritima or Sea kale looking stunning in its native habitat!


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Chapter 1: Some difficult terms explained in the world of Botany and Ethnobotany.

As I wrote in a recent blog, I would like to re edit most of the last year’s blogs as we now have the Gutenberg editing and this makes the blogs more beautiful and pleasant to read!

As in any science there are some difficult words and terms used of which I would like to explain some this week. If not explained you will often find a link on the ‘difficult’ word which will guide you to an explanatory page.

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Common Ragwort or Jacobaea vulgaris

The Common Ragwort is easily recognisable as a tall yellow daisy!

In my previous post all about the classification of the Asteraceae I mentioned Ragwort which was genus 74 (Senecio) with 21 species but has now been split of spp 1-5 into the genus Jacobaea.

The family is highly evolved to many insects and supports a rich ecosystem. I found out for example that the Ragwort supports a huge amount of biodiversity!

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Asteraceae part 1

Yarrow and Ragwort are 2 different members of the large ‘Aster’ family – All images are with thanks from Matt Summers

Today and in several future blogs I will be talking about members of the Asteraceae. This was called the Compositae for a very long time, which I think is a lot more descriptive about this largest dicotyledon family on Earth!

There is a lot to say about this family as you can imagine!

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Cleavers, Sticky Willie or Goosegrass and some more of the Rubiaceae

Close up showing the hooked hairs along the stem and leaves which it uses to attach itself.
All pictures by Matt Summers

This week all about this fascinating plant known as Cleavers, Goosegrass or even; Sticky Willie! It can be annoying in gardens but there is one very good use I saw in a ‘permacultural run garden’ which used the plants rather as a disguise for the maturing fruits on Gooseberry, as well as other soft-fruit bushes.  Once the fruits were ripe and ready to pick the entire clinging plant would be ‘peeled’ back and most of the fruit  picked. Any leftovers were for the birds! Much friendlier than netting I thought and it is something I would like to experiment with this year!

This plant is in the Rubiaceae family which is number 104 in Stace. The Rubiaceae is a very large, mainly tropical family and is mostly woody in that climate, whilst in this part of the world they are mainly annual to perennial herbs.

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Yoke’s Magic Salvias now closed for business!

Salvia buchananii
This is one of the best Salvias for growing in a container. A small plant with wonderful, large, furry, magenta flowers, attractive shiny foliage. For more info see Robin Middleton’s website. All the Salvia pictures by my partner Matt Summers.

Maybe the few who read my blog would have noticed that my Salvia shop or online mail order adverb has disappeared?

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