Naturalizing Beautiful Weeds And Native Volunteers

Because of a mild winter this year, I am finding all kinds of tiny sprouts. They are both in my raised beds and around the perimeter of the garden areas.

This is a perfect opportunity for me to do some transplanting while the shoots are still young. I can move them to the places I would appreciate them and let them naturalize there.

In this first photo I found a beauty of a Milk Thistle growing near one of the broccoli patches. Since it is the first and only specimen I've found, I'm quite happy to leave it where it is.

I am told by our local foraging expert, “Merriwether” that it is a Silybum Eburneum Milk Thistle and you can eat this thing. It is suppose to be the best Medicine out there for the Liver. But what I'm really interested in is the Wildlife it will attract when in bloom. It is said that gold finches are know to nest in them and feed on the flower seed heads and the butterflies love them

I'm also finding scores of tiny little native volunteers and moving them into other beds. In this picture I'm finding Johnny Jump-ups. This little native is completely edible. I just love adding the lovely flowers on top of a spring salad and sharing  it with some special garden friends.

The Johnny Jump-ups create the most gorgeous ground cover in early spring and lasts all summer in the northern regions. In my heat loving Texas, as soon as the temperatures rise it begins to die back. But it easily reseeds itself and is very faithful in returning each year.

I've also been digging up several Laura Bush Petunias and sticking them in pots until I find some spots I want to let them grow free and wild.

Petunias don't just add an enormous splash of color to the garden, but make the best companions near beans and tomatoes to help control aphids. The Laura Bush Variety are native and self sowing. They spread across the ground helping to keep it cool as a living mulch as the temperatures rise here in the south.

I recommend to take extra care while out and about weeding and cleaning out your beds. Many weeds are good to have in the garden for wildlife and even your life.

Spread the joy of beautiful wild natives throughout your landscape and maybe even share a few with friends and neighbors to enjoy as well. Happy Gardening!





Pamela Kimsey
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