Saturday, September 19, 2009
The other day I was reading an article which said that Plant Weeds are a major contributor in purifying the environment. Well, that sure was news, as till now I have despised the existence of weeds with the contempt reserved for an unwanted, unannounced guest dropping in at dinner time. The rainy season has had a very healthy effect on all my plants, and as usual the weeds turned out to be the best adapted to exploit the favorable conditions (I guess that’s why they are weeds!). Post rains they showed an explosive growth. Earlier I used to mount an all out offensive, but this time, with the above said article in my mind, I treated them with a little respect. Oxalis were, thanks to blogging, found to be decorative plants elsewhere.It seems that plants qualifying as weed differ from place to place.Periwinkle is the most omnipresent among the pack. It grows with so little fuss – in fact it grew without my planting it at all – that it has always been there ever since I remember. Like all other things which need no pampering and become for granted in life, this flower felt like an unwanted presence. With a changed perspective it now looks beautiful to my eyes! Butterfly weed was sourced from a local nursery. Now that appears paradoxical- why should one buy a weed? Well, I was charmed by its looks…I still am. Its just that it spreads so fast that it gives an unhealthy competition to other plants. Like Oxalis, Lantana too is ironically a beautiful weed. There are vast stretches of land made beautiful by a covering of prolifically growing Lantanas, but in a home garden there rapid growth can be a menace. Castor plant is grown as an ornamental in many parts of the world b'coz of its star shaped, multilobed leaves. It has a copper variant too, which looks very interesting in garden landscapes. Here it grows profusely and multiplies rapidly, thus categorised under weeds. Though highly toxic, paradoxically it is also used in many Ayurvedic medicines since ages. This is something which psyches me out even before touching it! For a gardener the psychedelic properties of Cannabis,or Marijuana, or Bhaang as is known locally, are evident as soon one finds it growing unabated in the garden, unabated and remorselessly. It is especially during spring that I have to struggle hard to keep the plant in abeyance. The name of this weed is not known to me but both the leaves and the purple hairy flowers are very interesting.The leaves are initially green but change to yellow later on! They are beautiful, but their beauty is compromised because they are plenty.