The very first people who practiced Feng Shui keenly observed Nature. Intimate with the world surrounding them, they designed their dwellings in harmony with the land, for optimal human health and well-being. Learn more about how weeds and all plants can be beneficial to your garden, your life, and your Feng Shui, by Eco Feng Shui Designer, Consultant & Educator, Alisa Rose Seidlitz
Today, for the most part, we’re living in a world where our designs, and other actions, have disturbed and disrupted Nature on a vast scale. Today, it’s imperative, not only for good health, but for the survival of our species, that we once again become keen observers, then take Nature’s lead. It’s vital that we let Nature show us the way to harmony, instead of overriding it as we have done for so long.
When practicing feng shui, the place to start at home is on the outside, and today, there’s a lot to heal regarding the land on which we live.
Dancing to Nature’s tune, taking steps in harmonious response to what Nature shows us, makes life easier!
When practicing Feng Shui, the place to start at home is on the outside, and today, there’s a lot to heal regarding the land on which we live.
Are you concerned about the growth of weeds in your garden? Is it a constant challenge to keep them under control? As a Bay Friendly Garden Design Educator and Feng Shui Designer, I’m often asked how to get rid of weeds, how to stop them from growing.
But guess what! Weeds can be wonderful! On every plot of land, weeds will grow. Weed seeds come from near or far. They spread by runners or rhizomes, are carried on the wind and in the bellies of birds. Where soil has been badly disturbed and where herbicides have been used, weeds WILL grow. Whichever method one uses to remove them, they will eventually return.
The surprise is that many plants which we typically identify as “weeds” are actually tremendously useful and ecologically necessary. Many common weeds have medicinal value for humans and other animals, along with qualities which heal soil. They also serve pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Birds thrive on the seeds of “weeds.”
Plants which nature grows always have a purpose in the living ecosystem of soil. They bring needed nutrients or remove pollutants, add organic matter and aerate heavy clay. Their presence shows us what’s going in the soil. “Weeds” and their health are soil health indicators. Healthy soil is the foundation of a beautiful, easy care garden, thus most weeds are truly our partners, not our enemies.
In a real sense, a weed is simply a plant growing where we think it shouldn’t. When we relax and readjust our focus, we can see the purpose and beauty all around.
Shall We Breathe?
Like other plants, those we call “weeds” provide oxygen, take in CO2, and help build up the beneficial microbes in the soil. It is the Beneficial Microbes which absorb CO2 and other greenhouses from the atmosphere. Allowing healthy soil to sequester the excessive greenhouse gasses is what will enable destructive climate change to be turned around.
A Few Weeds We WANT (really!)
Important to Remember: These plants bring in beneficial insects which are essential for the good health of our gardens.
Clover: a legume, it ‘fixes’ (add) bio-available nitrogen.
Yellow Dock: long taproot, helps break up and aerate compacted soil.
Plantain: presence signals low pH/balances soil pH, adds beneficial microbial life.
Black Medick (tiny leaves which get very dark with age, tiny yellow flowers): especially needed now in drought effected areas, as it fixes nitrogen while helping to retain moisture.
Dandelion: indicates soil fertility, taproot helps break up and aerate compacted soil.
Self-Heal: heals disturbed, acidic soil
Horsetail: helps remove heavy metals, indicates poor drainage
Crabgrass: shows very low levels of calcium and phosphorus, low pH, low humus
Yellow-Flowering Oxalis: shows very low levels of calcium and high levels of magnesium
Fennel: while Fennel is on “invasive” plant lists, it’s good to remember that all plants “placed” by Nature have purpose, so let’s consider the following:
- Fennel is extremely drought tolerant, growing by the side of freeways and in otherwise barren center strips, brightening and beautifying those areas where almost nothing else will grow.
- Fennel is a fantastic and much needed bee plant!
- Also deeply nutritious and medicinal, it’s used in many recipes.
- Needing zero watering, if it happens to it show up in your garden, feel blessed, and use it in the design!
This is only a small sampling of the many additional plants which we tend to consider “in the way” also fit into the “blessings” category.
All of the above plants, except crabgrass, can be considered edible in one way or another, are nutritious (although some, like yellow-flowering oxalis, in very limited ways and quantities), and have a variety of medicinal qualities. Some can be used as natural dyes.
Again, except for crabgrass, all are much needed by bees!
Please never use chemical herbicides to get rid of weeds. Not only will weeds return, all “cides” destroy pollinators and the microbial life of healthy soil, too, and of course are detrimental to all life, including humans.
Planting with Purpose
Choose and place plants so that at maturity, they cover and shade the ground, thus precluding most weed growth.
Ask & Share
With prayerful attention, find a spot which you’re willing to share with the plants that you consider weeds, then asking them to move there sometimes works! Doing this feels good, so no harm in trying!
Every plant can be beneficial if we relax and look carefully. In nature, every plant serves a purpose. All provide oxygen and absorb CO2.
Next time you see a “weed,” celebrate and ask what extra blessing it brings!
Alisa Rose Seidlitz is a longtime Ecological Garden Designer, Certified Green Building Professional, GreenAP for Interiors, Graceful Lifestyles Certified Interior Re-Designer, Flower Essence and Reiki Practitioner. Read more about Alisa Rose.
Article Source: Taking Nature’s Lead
Photos: Alisa Rose Seidlitz