Comment To A Vegetable-Gardener Superstar Friend Who Referred To Some of My Best Plant-Friends As “Ugly Weeds”

Being able to choose what you cultivate is one of the delights of the gardener.

That said, the plants you refer to as “ugly weeds” each one has a name and a place in the ecosystem. Many times they have been the only vegetables available to me. And occasionally during harder times, even the only food on my plate.* They are also deeply medicinal.

Humans aside, they support the native pollinators who enable our tender cultivars to survive and flourish!

You have so much going on that I doubt you need another activity. But if you ever want to learn about Florida native plants, our local chapter of Florida Native Plant Society is a sweet group, and many of the people have formed lifelong human friendships there as well as befriending plants, and helping to restore Florida ecosystems.

*(Added later to just this post: The comment about wild plants often being my only vegetables, and a time or three even the only food on my plate, is NOT seeking sympathy for myself — I have forged my path in life, and any modest hardships I’ve experienced have made me a kinder and stronger person — but rather, seeking RESPECT for plant allies and for all species. A “weed” is just a plant we haven’t bothered to learn the name of. I bet that to other species, we sound like hicks and rubes and doofuses when we talk like this. And of course we (industrial nonindigenous consumerist critters) sound like the ecosystem-ravagers that we’ve become, by marinating in the synthetic Anglo-centric colonialist-consumerist “culture” we have co-created over the past several centuries.)