At this time of the year when the ground is covered with white snow, and yet the sun is brilliant and almost warm, the desire for something green growing in the earth is great. Even the sight of a weed would be cheering.
Of course, it is the weeds that may be the first things that I notice when things start up in the spring. At least that is the way it usually is here at the End of the Road Farm. Over the years that we have been gardening here I have learned a lot about weeds, the hated couchgrass/quackgrass, the hawkweeds, Virgin’s Bower which sounds lovely and which I actually planted on purpose, and that most common of weeds which was my inspiration when I named my website and blog, the shaggy dandelion.
As much as I thought I knew about weeds, this book, Weeds of the Northeast, has proven a treasure trove of interesting and useful information about all the weeds in my garden and the fields around. Each two page spread gives information on one side about the names of the plant, a general description, how it is propagated, a description of the flowers and fruit, it habitat and distribution. Since words are often not enough, the facing page gives clear photos of the plant in its various stages from seedling, to flower to seedcase and seed.
The book is also a veritable botany handbook with a glossary of botanical terms, and drawings of leaf shapes and arrangements. If the ability to name something gives us power over it, this book makes me powerful indeed.