but to me a weed is any plant that starts growing in your garden without your consent
You call bellbind, or field horsetail, or ground elder, "more self-reliant flowers"?Mark Catesby, known as the Colonial Naturalist and arguably the most important naturalist of the last few thousand years, was said to have called weeds "more self-reliant flowers". The dandelion is not only a lovely flower, but it is important medically and is an excellent source of food for humans, It can also be used to make a popular wine.
I lived in the Knoxville area a few years ago and had a musician friend who insisted (vehemently, he had OCPD) that the beautiful wild violet is a terrible weed. I pointed out that many people in East Tennessee (where violets grow particularly well) have flower beds dedicated to them, and I once lived in a lovely rental home near Sevierville where the instructions for lawn care included "Don't harm the violets" (the front lawn had no grass, only an incredibly beautiful variety of violets. To be fair, it was on a steep slope and would have been hard to mow
Dandelions and violets are both in a group of wild-flowers which are either loved or hated. I here have lovely spider-sorts (two varieties) in my lawn, my back lawn is solidly one ground-hugging variety that makes a lovely alternative to grass (under spreading oaks).
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