Weed of the year 2008

by Adam Pasco

ap_weedIt's been difficult to choose my 2009 weed of the year. Butercups and daisies continue to compete with grass in my lawn, as do those lovely rosettes of plantain. Then there are the dandelions. Oh dear, this isn't making my lawn sound very good is it? I have to crawl over it on my hands and knees a couple of times a year, digging out the worst offenders, then filling in holes with compost and a pinch of grass seed.

The grass nearly wins this battle, but lawn weeds add colour and interest. It's all about balance, and as long as it looks green who cares what plants make up your lawn (well, I could do without the moss!).

Then there are the brambles. Now those I hate, but they keep invading from neighbouring gardens. Long stems twine their way through hedges and shrubs unseen, and when they touch the ground they cleverly root to produce new plants, staking their claim to new found territory. These need to be dug out by hand, but it's one devil of a battle actually reaching them. And when you do they put up a fight. That's why they're so successful.

Bittercress continues to frustrate me, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Barely has a seedling had time to get established than it's flowering, then forming seed pods. And those pods have a trick up their sleeve. Reach down to pluck these annual weeds from your borders and the merest touch causes the seed pods to explode and scatter their contents far and wide. Very clever weed, very frustrated gardener.

So, is bittercress my Weed of the Year?

No. I suppose my picture has given it away. My Weed of the Year for 2008 is bindweed!

This gorgeous bindweed wasn't actually photographed in my garden, but in one of my favourite gardens to visit. Hidcote Manor Gardens is glorious - always inspiring - and even on a rather drizzly day last August it charmed the socks off me. Had this bindweed escaped the attention of their dedicated gardening team? I doubt it. This weed had been left intentionally to spiral up over the wall, with blooms assured to captivate visitors. It certainly worked for me, but as for my battle with bittercress, that is certain to continue well into 2009.

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Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2009 at 15:48

Well I'm new to allotmenteering this year and I'm loving it. The weeds were 5 feet high when we took over the plot in July, but we've managed to clear most of them now. The worst were probably the bindweed with their brittle white roots which break at the slightest provocation. I've also got a small clover-like weed which seems to cling to the asparagus crowns. It has a reddish coloured leaf and is difficult to remove without digging up the asparagus as well. Any ideas? Also, am I the first person in the world to confuse asparagus roots with bindweed roots? I did find them difficult to tell apart at first but I'm learning.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/07/2009 at 17:26

i am having trouble with my asparagus. any tips?

Gardeners' World Web User 10/07/2009 at 17:27

maybe your seeds just arent growing properly. i had a mutant seed last year that sprouted 18 asparagus!

Gardeners' World Web User 10/07/2009 at 17:28

no way! me too! were did you get yours from?

Gardeners' World Web User 10/07/2009 at 17:29

me too! SANP! oh my god I had such a good harvest that year!

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