Quotes about weeds and weeding

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Shakespeare would have known ground ivy (creeping Charlie, gill-over-the-ground; Glechoma hederacea), a Eurasian plant that has a long history underfoot. Perhaps it was one of those he had in mind when he penned his immortal line, for it is indeed one of the fastest to spread. 

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Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.

- William Shakespeare -
see What's Coming Up #14 and What's Coming Up #52

Below: Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) and dandelion get the jump on invited garden members.


It takes...a lot of weeds in a garden really to keep the gardener interested. ...God in His wisdom provided thorns and thistles.

- Bertha Damon, in A Sense of Humus  -
see What's Coming Up #106



   Repetitive activities such as
   weeding might look tedious
   and unfulfilling to the
   uninitiated but they can
   attain a certain rhythm,
   become a...
   moving meditation.

- Ken Druse, in A Passion For Gardening -
see Growing Concerns #763 and What's Coming Up #99


   Left: She's been gardening for going on
   80 years and her favorite tool is an old
   screwdriver. It fits her hand and does
   the trick on tap rooted weeds
   along the walk.

...better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

- Rudyard Kipling, The Glory of the Garden, 1911 -


...weeding is the most peaceful of any outdoor task... soothingly monotonous but pleasingly varied... shutting out anxious thinking and furnishing an excuse for not doing some other less pleasant job.

- Bertha Damon, in A Sense of Humus -
see What's Coming Up #153


Know your weeds. Because, as the old saying goes:
It is always more powerful to curse it by name.

-Frances Kissinger -  
see Growing Concerns #769 and What's Coming Up #173  

The only thing that can make the average gardener industrious, that can make him come out early and fold up late, is the industrious weed.

- Bertha Damon, in A Sense of Humus -  
see What's Coming Up #99  


Weeding has none of the doubts and fears of transplanting.

- Bertha Damon, in A Sense of Humus -
see What's Coming Up #110


A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson -
see Growing Concerns #762, What's Coming Up #47 and What's Coming Up #100

 VirtuesNotDiscvrd8594s.jpg CutOffHeads8597s.jpg

Go thou and like an executioner cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays.

- William Shakespeare, in Richard II -
see What's Coming Up #132

As the weeder gets acquainted with weeds, he may well take an example from their virtuous and admirable behavior.

- Bertha Damon, in A Sense of Humus -
see What's Coming Up #84


Many a lusty crest-waving Hector, that towered a whole foot above his crowding comrades, fell before my weapon and rolled in the dust.

- Henry Thoreau, of weeding in his Walden bean field -
see What's Coming Up #87


Teasel. Ha. One year you have one; the next year you have 10,000.

 - Beaufort Cranford -lambsquartersS.jpg


Above: Lambsquarters, an annual weed, is such a prolific seed producer that even one plant left to ripen seed can fulfill the Farmer's warning, "One year's weeds, seven years' seeds."
To confound the issue, however: We have seen that finches and other small birds really love lambsquarter seed. Dozens forage below on a single big lambsquarter gone to seed. (In case your eyes can't make sense of the image at first, scroll down to see a small section enlarged, with birds' heads indicated.)



Some plants are real demons, but are so pretty there's a lot of demand for them. We growers have to carry them. So we sell them with a warning!

- Karen Bovio -
See Bad luck to say thanks


Invasive? Sure, it can be. We told you that. But isn't it otherwise all that you asked for?

- Janet -
See Bad luck to say thanks


When I had a small yard I had to be so careful of what I let loose in there. I tell people if someone offers you a perennial, ask them 'Why?" If they say 'because I have so much of it,' well there you go, there's your warning!

- Deb Hall -
See Bad luck to say thanks