Looking at lawns around my neighborhood, you would think that many gardeners are taking an interest in wildflowers. Many can claim their blooming lawn is their wildflower meadow, instead of a sea of weeds. It depends on which lenses you are looking through. A weed free lawn is not high on my list of priorities, and I do know that letting the weeds I have bloom is tantamount to even more weeds next year, but I for one and not bothered by some of them. Luckily for me, I don't have a lawn obsessed neighbor, in fact unfortunately some don't even garden (or mow), but that is another post. Cool season weeds are in their prime right now. Most are blooming their hearts out and in the case of annuals, setting seeds for next year.
I am not enamored with weeds like hairy bittercress
and try to eradicate it when I see it, I did miss some and look at the loads of cigar shaped seed pods on one I just pulled.
When the pods are ripe, as you pull it, hoe it or mow it, the pods shoot open scattering seeds far and wide for next year. I also won't tolerate the small thorn producer spurweed.
But I do like spring beauty with it's delicate white and pink flowers.
I have one section of the yard that is quite shady, so lawn grasses struggle and it is a sea of color right now with spring beauty and wild violets.
I have a love/hate relationship with wild violets. In the lawn, they are a nuisance but pretty this time of year. I was also told by one of the readers of my column several years ago that they are a favored host plant of the state butterfly--the Diana fritillary. I should have thousands of Diana's then, since violets multiply and get worse every year.
I do a decent job on weaning them out of the flower beds, but we just mow the lawn.
Other winter weeds which are on their way out (but thriving right now) include henbit and purple deadnettle
, chickweed, dandelions,
wild onions and garlic along with speedwell, bedstraw with its clingy stems, and tiny bluets
with either purple or white flowers.
Gardeners all have their level of thresholds which determines how many weeds they can tolerate, and decide which weeds they can live with or not. There are some gorgeous lawns out there with nary a weed in sight. This phenomenon is not limited to the United States. There is a facebook page that went viral in Australia called Lawn Porn, which lets lawn fanatics share their perfect lawn images.
Lawns are beginning to green up and will soon be more competition for those winter weeds, which will die with hot weather. Then we have the summer weeds to contend with--and they are not nearly as nice!