Welcome to week two of the Crunchy Tuesday link-up! To learn more about the link-up, please scroll to the bottom of this post. Two seasons ago, a new plant showed up in our backyard. I was too busy dealing with Dora and my undiagnosed connective tissue disorder to do much weeding and the plant wasn’t that ugly, so I kind of ignored it. Last year, more of them showed up, but my health was even worse and nobody could see the backyard, but us, so I only made a half-hearted attempt to pull them up. This year, however, the plants took over our backyard. As soon as spring began, the plants were all over and new plants continue to show up every day. Also, they grow at a phenomenal rate. Nor do they seem to have much discernment when it comes to soil, they like the vegetable beds as well as the grass and the rocky/sandy rock wall area. I had no idea what they were and was too busy pulling them up to bother researching them. I nicknamed them “Devil’s Weed”, which I still think is a good name for them. I never saw them anywhere, but our backyard and wondered if they had been in one of the wild flower packs we had planted by our rock wall over the years, though couldn’t imagine anybody thinking they were pretty enough to intentionally grow. This weekend, though, I happened to mention my problem to a friend, who is very knowledgeable about all things botanical and herbal and who had me e-mail her a photo of them. At the time, none of the plants were flowering, but her best guess was that they were wild lettuce. The next day, one of the plants had grown several inches and bloomed, so I took this photo and then looked up wild lettuce. I had to agree that these plants do look a lot like the drawings of wild lettuce that I found. I also learned that wild lettuce is sometimes ingested for its psychotropic effects. Not exactly the type of plant I want growing in my yard! I have read that some people harvest wild lettuce for a variety of medicinal purposes, but I’m never going to allow another one of these plants grow in my yard again, if I can help it! I’ve read that it is a biennial, so I may be fighting a second invasion next year.On a positive note, my garden and I also have a new BFF. Last year, I read about something called a “garden knife”. I had never heard of such a thing and decided to purchase one this year. All I can say is that if I could only have one tool for my garden, this would be it! I don’t know how I have lived my whole life without one of these things. It works as a trowel, but also has a serrated edge, which is great for cutting open bags and for hacking out deep rooted weeds. The part of the knife that I have just recently started using and really love is the “dandelion popper”. It works very well for pulling dandelions out of grass.
Anyway, that is what is currently claiming my attention in my garden, but now it is time to get one with the link-up!