Working at the San Francisco Botanical Garden nursery, repotting native plants for the past few weeks in preparation for the annual plant sale, I’ve noticed a miniature battle going on in the pots. It’s actually the same battle that goes on in my garden and in the lawns of the park. It’s all about territory! Which plants get to have the pot (or the wide open spaces of the park?) . . . the precious seedlings we plant and root for, or the hardy opportunists that leap into the voids around the edges and try to take over?
I think you have to admire the vigor of weeds! The weed I seem to be pulling most often this month is a little annual bluegrass, Poa annua. This is one of the most common weeds in California, happily takes over gardens and fields, golf courses and roadsides. Although it originated in Europe, it has spread around the world. It reproduces by seeds and thrives in disturbed areas; treats any patch of bare earth, no matter how small, as an opportunity. In fact, large areas of “green space” in our parks, when you look closely, consist mainly of this so-called weed.
Maybe we should learn to love it?