Naively, I had thought the old lady, with the help of an occasional gardener (if she didn’t pay for a cleaner she wouldn’t have paid for anything but the most essential garden work) had kept the place weed free by picking out the plants and that it would therefore be easy for me to do the same.
Considering that the old lady drove her car the 20 metres from the house to the gates because of knee problems, that was a rather optimistic assumption.
I now realise that there was no way that the courtyard and gardens were so weed free without massive use of chemicals.
I have even applied some weed killer now but those weeds are proving to be rather resistant even to Roundup.
A neighbour had a weed burning device but she was not impressed with the result – neither was I. The sun scorches them better.
The inability to keep on top of it all started a while back when I was absent a few times and there were several consecutive days of constant rain, followed by sunny but very windy days, and then there was the matter of the large area behind one of the buildings near the vegetable pot that I’d forgotten about. I haven’t been able to catch up since, despite spending many days outside, ‘glowing’ as I pulled and dug them up.
I also made a serious mistake of leaving a few weeds because they either looked nice at the time or I wasn’t sure what they were, and this being a fertile soil I didn’t want to uproot something that could be a proper plant/vegetable. Those few weeds rapidly multiplied and shot up high to form my very own jungle in the heart of Burgundy. Small tribes will probably move in soon.
Then there is the former-field-future-garden at the back.
That had been left to grow wild for the neighbour to make his hay, after which it rapidly regrew before we’d determined what we were to do with the area.
It was very pretty before the hay was made – lots of different field flowers all attracting butterflies – but it was very wild and right by the house we’re doing up. Left to its own devices you can’t see what else is growing in there but it definitely includes brambles and self seeding trees in positions that we don’t want.
Being overgrown also makes it difficult to collect fallen fruit/nuts from the various trees.
There was a proliferation of nettles and dandelions but I didn’t mind as I’ve been eating those. They were also easy to identify, although there were also a lot of dandelion lookalikes which, as I wanted to try to get the leaves when they were young, I was a little worried about, but a search online for verification helped me discover that those which strongly resemble dandelions are all edible too. I’m still here and not been to hospital, so I guess they are or I had genuinely only picked dandelions.
The nettles I’ll write about separately.
For other weeds, I got a lot of my weed identification info from:
I then cross reference them with other sites to find out if any are edible or have other uses.
However, not all weeds we have are up there so I intend to set up ‘Mystery Weed of the Week’ posts and hope that someone out there will point me in the right direction.