Have I Mentioned How Much I Love Weeds?

Except thistles. Those prickly little meanies still drive me crazy. I know that they provide food for birds, and I’ve read that some of them are edible, but seriously? They hide among the other weeds, and then they BITE. If someone can help me have a greater appreciation for thistles, I would . . . um . . . appreciate it.

BUT! I am not here to talk about thistles! I’m here to show you pretty pictures of pretty weeds and wildflowers!

First, the weeds! Meet Purple Deadnettle, or Lamium purpureum:

Purple Deadnettle, Viewed from Above

We’ve always had this around, but this year it is particularly abundant in the garden beds. I like it! I feed it to the chickens. I also think it’s really pretty.

Purple Deadnettle Side View

I mean, look at those sweet little flowers, and the fuzzy leaves that sort of shimmer! Super sweet. Apparently it is edible, and nutritious, but not especially flavorful–I haven’t actually tried it yet. But what I love is that it started blooming in JANUARY, and apparently it is an excellent source of nectar for bees in early spring, before most other things start to bloom. I have read some gardeners lamenting it’s fast spread and how difficult it is to get rid of–but here, it seems to behave itself pretty well. It spreads, but only over open ground, it doesn’t seem to choke other things out, and it’s easy to pull. I imagine, though, if you were interested in a manicured lawn and garden, you would dislike it, the same way people dislike dandelions. Just goes to show, one woman’s herbal ally is another woman’s invasive enemy.

So! Also, there are violets. Lots and lots of violets! I had a bunch of them in my salad last night, along with miner’s lettuce, chickweed, wild cress, and chives. Delicious. And so pretty:

Half Open

While I was working in the garden yesterday, every time I passed the clump of violets that volunteered in one of the garden beds, I got a whiff of the delicious, sweet, clean perfume. Oh man . . . mmmmmm.

Shady

They’re just so sweet, but also sort of sexy, don’t you think?

Come Hither

Violets are good medicine, too. And the leaves are edible too. Hmmm, I might need to do some posts on violets . . . they are particularly alluring this spring.

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