Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reflections on Weeds and Flowers for Outdoor Wednesday



Our home is built into a hillside that's a few degrees shy of being a cliff. The views are wonderful, even those beneath my feet. I'm standing on a host of weeds, some of them quite beautiful, whose names I've come to know thanks to a Master Gardener ™ program.

A significant portion of that program involves the identification and eradication of weeds. Its goal is to produce a trained corp of volunteers who will extend sustainable gardening techniques to others in the community. Classes, taught by faculty and industry professionals, are sponsored by the Extension Service of many state universities. At the end of the 12 week training period, now certified students become volunteers and start a year of pay-back that can range from teaching to weeding and time on the Extension Service hot-line. They know a lot about weeds, believe me. Some from the gardener's catechism, "A weed is a flower that grows where it's not wanted." Some from long hours spent in gardens of their own.

My musings today weigh how much flowers are like people. Some bloom only in the soil where they were first sown. Others thrive when taken on the wind and dropped on foreign lands. The flowers beneath my feet, while tended, are not deliberate plantings. The bluebells in the woods came from an English forest floor and the poppies, breath-taking in their profusion, came from California and managed to find the only patch of sunshine on our hillside. Nature, its design and vagueries, never ceases to amaze me. I've chosen to contain, rather than eradicate, these flowers others call weeds. They are simply too beautiful to destroy.


Today is Outdoor Wednesday. I'm sending this to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer who hosts the event.

29 comments:

Martha said...

Mary, I did the Master Gardener Program as well. It was very interesting and I learned a lot.

Come visit Linderhof today -- it may look familiar to you!

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

Happy Outdoor Wednesday Mary! what a great post.. makes me wonder what kind of plant I am,,,,hhmmmm..Thanks for sharing your photos.~ Susan

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE the moving flowers... BEAUTIFUL!!!

grey like snuffie said...

So many beautiful flowers...I especially love the Bluebells. I can't imagine knowing that much about weeds. Happy Wednesday!

Joycee said...

I love the analogy between flowers and people. The weed that blooms is a flower to me!

Cindy Khor said...

its so nice to be surrounded by so many variety of flowers. i love those bluebells, i think from now on, i'm gonna make them as my favourite flower.

the wild raspberry said...

HE has blessed us with so many amazing flowers...with beautiful colors and tiny details.
Nice post today!
have a great day.
chasity

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Mary, wonderful post.....pretty!!

Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

Barb

Mary said...

Cindy, thanks so much for visiting again. I love to have you visit.

Mama said...

Hello Mary, I so enjoyed your OW post, love the bluebells and the poppies, I would not be without some of my weeds, love the musing between plants and people so true, Kathy.

kbbryant said...

I was a Master Gardner for several years. I learned a lot but I guess I still don't appreciate my weeds.

Kathy b

flmom said...

Very pretty - especially the lupine!!

Katy ~ said...

Mary, some of those flowers you call weeds we try to CULTIVATE here on the east coast LOL. Lupine, blue bells. Actually, the wild mustard I've seen, never knew what it was called, so now I know.

I just enjoy these posts so much!!! I can't wait for Wednesdays.

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Mary, I was a Master Gardener for years before work got in the way. They are really great people. Thanks for sharing pics of your "weeds."

Louise said...

I came to your blog via Cookie Madness. I'm a Penn State Master Gardener. Ours is a 14 week program which is run like a college semester covering different topics every week. We have a high retention rate of MGs in our counties thanks to a highly motivated Extension educator. I've found I'm really interested in turf and unfortunately now I've learned the names of all the weeds that grow in turf. But, I've also learned all the specific pesticides to deal with them. :-)

Kim @ Manning Family Tree said...

Your weeds are beautiful. I love flowers (or beautiful weeds) but never can remember their names. Thanks for sharing your fabulous photos. And thanks for visiting my blog & leaving me a comment. It really means a lot to me.

Pam said...

I would love to try the Master Gardener program. It is on my long range goals of things to do.
Your photos are beautiful as always and your reflections were thought provoking. Thanks for sharing.

Brenda said...

Your introspective words at the end really caught my attention. I hadn't thought of it like that. But it's absolutely true. You have such a creative mind!
Brenda

sylvia said...

o help...all those flowers...it is so funny because even in Holland we have english daisys's and I allways thought they were ever so dutch...Lovely pictures!!

Mary said...

I just wanted to welcome all newcomers to my blog. I hope you'll become regular visitors. I was thrilled to see so many of you have completed MG training. I did mine at Oregon State University in 2001.

RobinfromCA said...

I think I must not be a weed since I bloom best where I was sewn. Not very original of me but there it is. As such, however, I love that you have not eradicated my beloved California Poppy that used to bloom so profusely on the hillsides here that they took on an orange tint. Now, sadly, they have been picked, built on and otherwise eliminated to where they aren't as plentiful as in my youth. Thank you for sharing such wonderful knowledge with us today. No wonder sometimes these "weeds" are just called "wildflowers." They bloom wherever they land!

BTW, you're right, the fountain in AZ does look like a wedding cake! Good eye! Thanks for stopping by today!

Robin

Karen said...

I have often thought about "weeds" and how often they are just as pretty as what we call flowers. Lovely post!
Karen

Miller Racing Family said...

WOW, what great photos. I don't think I can choose a favorite. I also love the slideshow that you put together. Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog today. Have a blessed Wednesday!

Mamapippa said...

Love these flowers !

sunnymama said...

Beautiful pictures and so colourful!

honeysuckle said...

Hi,
This is my first time on your blog. I enjoyed your metaphor of people being like flowers and your food pictures are beautiful and very tempting. Thanks for visiting my blog and your nice comments. Have a wonderful day!

Lori said...

I think about the analogy of people and plants a lot. Gardening, in a lot of ways, is a metaphor.

I was just thinking the other day that I wish I knew what all the weeds were. I want to know if any can be of use, medicinally or for eating. I would love to take that course. Maybe when my youngest goes to school I will check into it.

Blondie's Journal said...

Mary,

This was such a clever way to show your flowers! They are beautiful!! Weeds, I wish there were a humane way to banish them!

Have a wonderful day! :-D

xoxo
Jane

My Little Space said...

Really pretty photos! They reminded me when I was in New Zealand 10 years back. I've stayed there for one whole year.

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