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Unfortunately certain wild animals are not 'transient' and are very much here to stay if you have a garden of tasty plants or attempt to feed birds. Rabbits are my main nuisance animal for eating plants, closely followed by squirrels on the bird feeders. Then there are wood pigeons, mice and bank voles and magpies. Even the blackbirds root around my newly seeded vegetable bed for worms. All permanent residents. This is before the slugs and snails get going on the plants.

As for 'weeds', I let most plants grow where they can as they must be rabbit resistant. We have a lot of cuckoo flower out at the moment with associated transient orange tip butterflies laying eggs. Weeds are plants that swamp others whether cultivated or accidental eg Cleavers is a weed (accidental), as is also the planted Fox and Cubs (big mistake)

Richard - thank you. Sometimes the sight of a 'weed' growing in a wall or crack somewhere is the only thing that gets me through the day, knowing that, when we're finally extinct or have ruined the world to the point of not being able to survive in it, the plants will grow back and re-colonize the Earth, covering up the mess we've made.
How do I deter cats from my garden? Apart from digging up my boarders they keep leaving me piles of very smelly cat 'poo'!!!! Quite annoying to say the least...
How do I get rid of grass in my garden without killing my fruits & veggies?..Please Help


I wouldn't mind a few weeds but because people in our area don't dig them out I am plagued with every type a continual headache
I have a small yard at the back of my house which I fill with as many containers and pots that I can afford, the end closest to the house is shady and can be damp. I have both maidenhair spleenwort and hart's-tongue fern growing on the wall and they are beautiful, they are a joy to me every time I open the back door. I love ferns and have often considered buying some to put in pots at this end of the yard, but it seems a bit daft when they grow there so beautifully for free!
Well what a fun bunch, I have a number of wildflowers in my garden with no problems I would like to know more about what wildflowers are safe to use in a garden, I mean that will not take over in a few years, plants spread wild or other wise so I don't mind having to take action now and again.
I have a plant which I would really like to know what it is, as everyone I've asked can't give me an answer, is it possible if I send you a photo you would be able to help?? Not sure if you do this service! With Regards Mrs M Lawrence
Every plant has its place, isn't that the case? I leave some weeds to grow around the edge of my allotment as lots of insects are attracted to them. This in turn means that they also visit my veg patch and feed on other nuisance insects and pollinate my plants. Fantastic! Some of the 'weed' flowers are very pretty and thistles are incredibly grand when they get big!
We've got hart's tongue fern growing at the top of our garden wall having self sown itself. The original plant is 10 metres away.
I always think back to my Uni days and a quote from one of my ecology lecturers about weeds. "A weed is really a plant that is growing in the wrong place, therefore a rose growing in a wheat field is a weed". It always makes me smile when I look at a plant that is in my garden but classified a weed and looks darn good. I have lots of Herb Robert growing in cracks in the wall with beautiful pink flowers; I don't have the heart to pull it out.
I think a lot of you are missing the point about Richard's blog. He's writing about wild plants and how they should be respected as part of wildlife, not just a weed to be killed! How sad!
Wow, what a fantastic lot of comments. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that weeds are a hot topic for all gardeners. Flo is right, I think we could do with a more relaxed attitude to self-sewn wildflowers, these are the plant part of wildlife. But I also realize that gardeners want to control what they grow in their gardens and that invaders from the outside are not always welcome. My attitude to 'weeds' must be the same as my attitude to 'pests'. As far as I'm concerned nothing is a pest unless it reaches pest proportions. Likewise, nothing is a weed unless I feel compelled to weed it out because it is too invasive.
Well Richard a few years ago I found a very small rather sad hart's-tongue fern growing in a wall in my garden I put it into a pot and forgot about it. When I moved house 2 years ago I brought the rather sad plant with me and planted it in a shady "fern border" It is now quite spectacular and I am very proud of it. I also saved the £8 to £10 it would have cost me in my local garden centre


I agree with Richard and Flo. I let the wild plants grow until either they're getting too prolific (like herb robert) or I want the space for something else. I've got a lovely collection of flowers and grasses. They often look good when there's little esle around. and they're often food for the more mobile visitors. They're only weeds if they get in my way.
I've got a plant that suddenly appeared 4 years ago and I would love to know what it is. It dies off in winter and comes through in the spring. When it first appears it looks like asparagus tips. There are now about 10 stems growing to about 5ft, with delicate, wispy fern-like branches. It has tiny white flowers which turn into orange/red berries. Does anyone know what it is?

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