We’ve been spending so much time in the garden that I’ve been teaching Isobel all the names of the plants I know, especially the weeds. It’s fun learning that we are growing sun gold tomatoes, but it’s far more likely she’s going to come across winter or Bermuda grass in her life. It’s become a really fun project for the two of us to do together, and when I don’t know the name of something I look it up in one of my gardening or herb books. Right now she can name every weed in our yard but one, which I don’t know the name of myself. My parents did a pretty good job of familiarizing me with the names of the local plants and trees and even weeds. I don’t know if that knowledge comes from the fact that my grandparents were farmers on both sides, or if they were born with this kind of special knowledge. I’d believe either.
She’s learned that dandelion leaves are used in salad, which totally blew her mind, and she loves the little heart-shaped leaves of the shepard’s purse.
Miner’s lettuce is her favorite as far as edibles go. She’ll sit there and chow down if she finds a patch (but she’ll ask first, of course).
She has two nemesis in the plant kingdom, and that’s milkweed, which she finds utterly disgusting despite it’s dandelion seeds, and stinging nettle, which she touched one time but won’t be making that mistake again. When my father in law came by recently she warned him four or five times to avoid the stinging nettle, pointing out all the locations of it in our yard.
Henbit is her favorite for their profusion of tiny purple flowers that look like dollhouse-sized orchids. They’ve mostly faded now but when they were in season she was constantly gathering bunches to put in a vase or feed to Melynda’s chickens.
This weed with the tiny pink rosebud-esque blossoms is unfamiliar to us, so if you know the name, please let us know!
The catnip isn’t a weed but I feel it deserves an honorable mention for coming back with weed-like tenacity each time Jupiter books his vacation in the middle of the planter.