The Benefits of Weed

… or should I say weeds 😉

Weed (the flora definition of) is one those words that, in my opinion, does more harm than the poor hapless plants it targets. These are dictionary definitions:

  1. a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.
  1. any undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted: e.g The vacant lot was covered with weeds.

Well I took this photo recently on a walk with some very good friends. It struck me as I looked at the “vacant lot” all run over with weeds, how glorious it was. In a space where the plants had been allowed to grow wild, untamed, uncontrolledWeeds on a building plot, there was exceptional beauty. Not only that, but allowing these wild flowers to flourish means that more
of nature’s spectacular creations can proliferate too, like butterflies and bees.

It strikes me that it’s kind of analogous with our propensity as human beings to control, manipulate, judge. How arrogant we can be!! How can a plant be valueless, undesirable and troublesome when it supports our wonderfully natural ecosystem?

But then that’s one of the issues that we have isn’t it? That we believe we are right, that we are the Masters of this Universe? That we make better and more informed decisions about what should and shouldn’t be allowed to grow and flourish. How foolish we are. Nature has been here for billions more years than we have. It is far more powerful. It has more grace, more intelligence and more courage in its natural growth than we can ever have if we continue to restrict ourselves to a human evolution that is dominated by such ego.

It’s true I guess that where a plant has an overwhelming desire to spread, there might be a case for encouraging some regulation – but wouldn’t it be better to do so in a way that embraces its wild beauty and allows it to live in harmony with our own desires for the space it occupies? Do we really have to stop its passionate disregard for order in its tracks?

I would have thought it should be possible. But if not and there has to be a choice, I’m with the weeds…

(Oh and if you want to find out about some "relative" benefits of weed - as in marijuana - there's an interesting article on The Independent about how it's 114 times less deadly that alcohol. Another reason to be with the weeds?)


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