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HOME > PAST ISSUE > July-August 2003 > Article Detail

MACROSCOPE

Wilderness

Thomas Eisner

Gardens, to me, are magical additions to the landscape. An extension of ourselves, they provide a vehicle for expression, a colorful means for laying out a zone of transition between home and the wild. To keep gardens weeded is judged to be a must, and I have always had the utmost admiration for the gardener who succeeded. As a naturalist, however, I have of late had second thoughts about the fate of weeds. Altogether too often these include descendants of the very greenery that was cleared to make room for the garden, so that it is really quite unrealistic to think of weeds as intruders when in fact it is our ornamentals that are the occupiers. I know the argument is unlikely to win support, but I do want to make the case that the individual weed, or more exactly the natural vegetational mix that is eliminated to lay out a garden, has hidden value.




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