One Man’s Weed Is Another Man’s Flower

It’s that mix of the planned and the random that makes our garden glow

This one is going to be a bit of a brain dump …

These golden-yellow beauties have just come out in synchronised lush profusion, lining both sides of the walkway just behind our house.

Corn marigolds or little sunflowers … you decide

They weren’t there last week, probably won’t be there next week. Certainly not at this vivid peak of radiant perfection that has transformed this pathway into our very own yellow brick road.

Miniature sunflowers? No, actually … they’re weeds … corn marigolds, my know-it-all friend Google tells me.

I step away from these mellow yellow beauties and look across at the back of our house, and this is what I see.

All spring and summer long, I am surprised by joy as, one after another, splendid guests arrive unannounced, with nothing to declare but their unexpected beauty

This overspill, this uncultivated, riotously neglected profusion of everything that has either squeezed out the back of our garden fence, or has just taken root and burst up from the soil … is fantastic to behold.

Behind the house a riotously neglected profusion

Over the years we’ve put a lot of thought — and quite a few bob — into our actual garden, an oasis of constant delight, in wind, rain or shine.

You buys your seeds, plants and flowers every year; you puts them in your border or in your pots; and you sits back and watches them sway, play, and permeate the very air with their aromatic charms, and draw a constancy of birds, bees and butterflies to this enduring garden party extravaganza.

And then there are those glorious accidents, the ones that have nothing whatsoever to do with your plans or your pernickety interventions.

All spring and summer long, I am surprised by joy as, one after another, splendid guests arrive unannounced, with nothing to declare but their unexpected beauty.

These exotic roses have just emerged, flouncing out of their pots like cheeky can-can dancers

Don’t really know how they got there, what wind their procreators floated in on, or how long they will stay … they just pitch up, hang their multi-hued hats in pots or beds, and stay to an end of their own devising.

How I love these gallant, errant wanderers that show up unannounced in our L-shaped haven.

It’s that mix of the planned and the random blow in that really makes our garden glow.

Here are some of my favourites, ones that are out now and I can capture with my phone camera.

First, the anticipated ones.

It’s coming up roses …

These exotic roses have just emerged, flouncing out of their pots like cheeky can-can dancers.

We bought the rosebush only weeks ago, and were not expecting this exquisite payoff quite so early.

Then there are our routinely astonishing passion flowers.

The more I look at these ravishing creations, the more I see. Architectural form meets unfeigned beauty and the result is symmetrical, three-dimensional sublimity.

Our friend the bee is doing his business on one of our fragrant honeysuckles.

It’s … a passion!
Don’t worry, bee happy …

And here are a few of those party-crashers I’ve been talking about.

Like this single blue one which popped out just the other day.


A cornflower, I think … but isn’t he or she splendid? The deep, rich blue, the cheery, insouciant mien …

We had cornflowers a few years back, pink and blue, but, as things go with nature, they had disappeared, until this lone hero reared their perky little head.

Then pause a while to contemplate this little symphony of colour and grace that sprang up at the foot of our thickening expanse of bamboo this summer.

Mixed flowers
Fair copse, Guv

Up they have pushed through the stones we laid here.

One of the greatest joys each year is to just to see what what shows up, grows up

Now normally, the little green sprigs that spring up between the pebbles here, I just assume they are weeds and routinely pluck them before I can find out.

These ones were out of sight and born to blush unseen, for all they cared, but pottering around one day, I looked across and there it was, this splendid little copse.

That’s nature, though, isn’t it? … You think you can name it, tame it, shape it and order it, especially if you read enough, pay enough.

But sometimes you just have to step back, let it at it, and see what turns up.

One man’s weed is another man’s unexpected delight.

Like that corn marigold.

I love our garden, as one might gather from all the references and imagery I draw from it.

Now I hope you don’t think I just let any old weed come through and spoil this living sanctum …

Diarmuid Gavin I ain’t, but I do diligently weed and claw away the scraggy grass, and battle with those unruly intruders that would soon turn all this into the morning after Glastonbury.

But one of the greatest joys each year is to just to see what what shows up, grows up here.

Nature, eh?

Things grow, things wither and die,  yet everything seems to remain the same, and then one day all has changed, utterly.

And your garden grows on regardless.

Blooming marvellous, isn’t it?

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51 comments on “One Man’s Weed Is Another Man’s Flower

  1. Beautiful photos. I’ve been enjoying my garden much more this year. Shielding has made me appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. You have beautiful grounds. And, by the way, I really like the phrase “. . . riotously neglected profusion . . . “

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was tempted to read this out loud, the words were so inviting that I know that my lips were moving while I read. Beautiful pictures and words. Shared this on my Facebook page, knowing it would give some friends a heart lift. Blessings, Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s a saying that if you put one man in a garden of wildflowers he’ll only see weeds while another will see blooms. I love the wildness of well, wildflowers, and what we call “bird bum plants”. Glorious.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael Andrew Morris

    Lovely piece, Enda.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of the nicest things of moving into a new garden is seeing what fruit the trees bear and what the hedges do. We’re still being surprised; this year we discovered a plum tree we’d somehow missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • New garden? Have you moved house or are you referring to this year’s garden, Mary? Either way it’s so true, you don’t know what will survive or die, or what will make an unexpected return/first-time visit


  7. Nature has so much variety to offer doesn’t it Enda? We ruthlessly try to keep the “weeds” under control, but the prettier ones sometimes slip through because it seems such a shame to pull them out. I’m also amazed when something springs up seemingly from nowhere – such resilience! #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, resilience is certainly what you would apply to weeds, Leanne. But like you say, some really pretty ones break through and brighten our garden!


  8. You are so right, Enda. While the world has changed in such a dramatic manner, nature lives on in the most vibrant manner.


  9. Nancy Andres

    I’m in love with colors everywhere and so your post is a delight for me. Visiting at #MLSTL and will pin this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your words, along with your photos, tell the story of riotous colour and growth – love it! Enjoy your summer days and the unknown and unplanned growth in the garden 🙂 #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Debbie ,,, the garden has been a continuing source of pleasure … even in the really bad July we’ve been having here. At least the rain has been good for it, and it looks, if anything, even more beautiful on foul days!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I LOVE this post – so beautifully written – it’s basically a fantastically unwinding poem — and i whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments too!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this post! I used to have this big garden in my old house, and I had flower beds, a herb garden and a few trees, and the most gorgeous rose bushes. I worked hard keeping it looking good and doing so much weeding. Now, I’ve moved house and not only do I have a garden that refuses to grow anything other that a bit of grass and dandelions. I bought some pots thinking I’d be able to keep them nice, but sadly, I can’t even do that and now my carefully selected plants are overgrown with weeds, but I still get to see the most amazing and pretty little buds and flowers. Like you say, they may be weeds but they can still bring colour and beauty. Thank you for your blossoming mind drop 🙂


  13. We inherited a plethora of plants that were new to us when we bought our house and I’m still trying to figure out what some of them are. My favourites have to be the rhubarb though, we’ve had so many amazing pies and crumbles from them! Considering we know very little about gardening, it’s so nice to get so much from the garden. #wotw


  14. I really like the surprise flowers which pop up. We have had lots here my favourite being the poppies in my front garden.
    What lovely photos and gorgeous flowers you have x

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Another admirer of your phrase, “. . . riotously neglected profusion . . . “, isn’t that another word for cottage gardens. Always happy to view photographs of flowers and shrubs in your part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah yes. The surprise guest. We leave areas of our garden to their own devices. Honestly, the poppies pop up all over the place. Might be upset if I curated neat flower beds, but it’s fine in my book. I shall be describing areas of my garden as “riotously neglected profusion” from now on. Especially when someone offers to lend us their mower again. #wotw

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, the leaving it to their own devices methodology has a lot to recommend it, Cheryl! I’m quite the proponent …


  17. Wonderful.. The bounty. Balm and blessings of nature.

    Always cheered by my visits here Enda.

    Regards Thom

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Our lawn has been full of kinds of colourful *weeds* but the bees and butterflies seem to love them, I’ve never seen so many in the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What beautiful photos of your garden. I love the roses and passion flowers. I quite like seeing things pop up unexpectedly in the garden too. I love the dandelions in early spring and our front lawn often resembles a wildflower meadow. It’s great for the bees. Lovely to see some of your unexpected wildflowers. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Enda, out of all the posts in the #kcacols list I was drawn to yours before I knew it was yours – nice to connect again! And this post is exactly how I feel about our garden, I love how new flowers and plants find their way from the woods into our garden to surprise us each year. Some of the growth is unwelcome as it is so fast, we are slightly overwhelmed by the volume, but I do appreciate the unexpected beauties. I would love a cormflower, that’s glorious.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. We have many of the same flowers, and weeds in our gardens. I am happy with pretty weeds! #DreamTeam & #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Gorgeous. We have a strip of wildland just outside our house which blooms with wildflowers every summer. It’s gorgeous. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.


  23. What a lovely post. In this COVID world we need to get better at seeing the beauty and joy in all things. Big and small. As an aside, I wanted cornflowers for my bridal bouquet but it was the wrong season…oh well… #Dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Shelley Whittaker

    We have always been pretty lazy with our garden and kept it as low maintenance as possible. But I one day dream about the house and lovely garden we will have. Having said that, I almost ALWAYS have flowers in the home and I have just invested in a few house plants which I am really loving having. Lets just hope I can keep them alive! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have never been much cop at looking after plants indoors, Shelley, and in truth, after a certain point the garden kind of looks after itself. Luckily for us!


  25. Katrina | ChatterFoxBlog

    A beautifully written piece. I much prefer wild flowers to an organised garden space. I sometimes find the flowers deemed as weeds and nuisances to be the most beautiful.

    Katrina x

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Lovely words and lovely photos 🙂 #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

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