Spot the difference! Is it a weed or a flower?
Weeding can be one of the most annoying activities in maintaining our gardens, and the unwanted pests have a tendency to grow back if untreated. Our gardens are full of them, but identifying all weeds correctly, instead of flowers, can be a difficult task. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you identify which flowers are masquerading as plants, for a weed-free outdoor space where your flower beds are protected and your garden can breathe easy.
Daisies, also known as Bellis Perennis, are usually a sign of Spring time - and a welcome addition to the garden by many, often used by youngsters to make chains. They’re one of the most common garden weeds and are able to grow in a range of conditions. Because of this, they may be competing with other plants for water and soil. Luckily, daisies can be easily removed using weed killer, or by using gardening scissors.
This one divides opinion, as bluebells are beautiful wildflowers, and some would argue that having a lot of bluebells is no bad thing. Others would class bluebells as weeds due to their ability to spread far and wide, taking over the garden. Bluebells are deeply embedded into the soil, and can be very difficult to control. When removing them, it’s important to dig the soil around the plant, then search for all of the bulbs and runners, and dispose of them - otherwise, they’ll come back as tenacious as ever the following year.
Lovely to look at, but highly toxic, these plants have a tendency to grow in places you don’t want them to. A lot of care needs to be taken when removing foxgloves - make sure you are wearing gloves to start and use gardening scissors to remove the plant. Take extra care when you are disposing of the plant and of course, make sure any small children and pets stay well away.
Bindweed is a climbing vine and can often wrap itself around other plants. Its large root system makes it difficult to control, and it can take a long time to destroy. Bindweed vines grow leaves and then flowers which are trumpet shaped and white or pink in colour. Several attempts may be required before removing bindweed completely - some people use boiling water to target the root while some choose to prune the vines back to the ground repeatedly, cutting the vine off at the ground. This method will eventually kill the plant, as it’ll use all of its energy in its roots.
Blue or pink with a yellow centre, forget-me-nots are very attractive wildflowers and start to appear around May time. They grow best in shady, damp areas, and can spread easily in the garden, taking over spaces where other plants were planned. For this reason, they are considered weeds, and can be removed by simply being pulled out. Try your best to pull the plants before they seed, as this is how they are spread. Weed killer can also be used to assist their removal.
Also known as the ‘creeping buttercup’, this is another of the most common weeds, despite its vibrant glossy yellow flowers. It tends to thrive in damp conditions but will grow almost anywhere in the garden. Take control by using a hand fork to lift up the roots, pulling it from the ground, tackling its stem and roots. For lawns, use a wire rake to lift any stems and roots from the soil before mowing.