Weed identification – one man’s trash is another’s treasure

There’s an old saying that one man’s trash is another’s treasure.  When it comes to gardening, I think this applies to lots of plants, including Foxgloves, Welsh poppy and Marigolds.  Personally I think they can make lovely colourful additions to any garden, whereas others have them firmly marked down as weeds.

According to the RHS, a weed is any plant that is growing where we do not want it to grow. Technically, that means even the finest peony could be classified as a weed if it is growing up among your best roses.

Today I spent most of the afternoon identifying, pulling out and leaving in what I think are weeds in my garden, and so I thought I’d come and do some research to clarify exactly what they are.  Here’s what I found (although some – my treasures – I left in).  Thank you to Garden with Outdoors for the pics from the website’s fantastic weed guide:


Aquilegia (beautiful purple flower but can spread quite considerably if left to go to seed)

aquilega 2

Bindweed (perennial strangler – get it out)


Bluebell – a typical trash/treasure culprit – I’ll leave it up to you to decide!


Bramble (thorny as hell, although produces nice fruit for picking)


Chickweed (Stellaria media)


Cleavers, also known as goose grass or sticky willow (easy to pull out and identify)


Dandelion – good for telling the time, although terrible for self seeding…dandelion

Couch Grass (tough perennial – get it out from the root)



Fat hen


Forget-Me-Not – personally, I love them, beautiful blue flowers in early spring. I’d leave them in.


Foxglove – again, one of my treasures. What’s not to love?

foxglove 2

Ground Elder (out!)

ground elder

Groundsel (not attractive, but easy to identify and pull out – annual)


Hairy Bittercress (again, easy to identify and pull out. Annual)

hairy bittercress

Herb Robert (nice name and some people leave it in – personally I treat it as a weed)
herb robert 2

Horsetail (Equisetum arvenses) – bloody mare, in my opinion



Welsh poppy (attractive yellow flowers but will pop up everywhere, especially in between plants – best to get rid before it competes for space with  all your nice perennials)

welsh poppy.JPG

Willowherb (this guy gets everwhere and will grow very tall if left to its own devices. Easy to pull out – get rid!)



One Comment Add yours

  1. Hilary says:

    Great article. Good to have them all named. Thanks


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