I get a cool e-newsletter from Horticulture that recommends winter weeding. So off I went into the garden to see what I can find. Yes, there were plenty of rosettes of invasive garlic mustard (pictured above) and honeysuckle. The next couple of days will provide some milder temperatures and a chance to finally feel the sun on our faces and the soft soil under our feet. But not every weed is evil, just as not every consumer cultivar is good.
I enjoy walking the woods looking for the garlic mustard, nipping it in the bud before it gets a foot hold. It's edible, here are some recipes, why throw it into the compost when you can enjoy its wild garlicky taste. You've got to be careful though; start slow, sometimes wild foods can play havoc with our digestive system. Once you get used to it though, there are lots of wonderful weeds to eat. Dandelions are next, then violets, but that's a story for another day.
I only remove the honeysuckle that is growing up something I like better. Yes it's invasive but its perfume is a joy in early summer. If it's inhibiting the mountain laurel, I'll pull it out. Amazing how it can still have foliage after the bitter temperatures we experienced this winter. Breeders have released some wonderful cultivars that retain some of the toughness of the wild varieties with more beauty. Hummingbirds can't resist the blooms, that alone is a good reason to grow them. Check out these photos to get an idea of what's out there.
One thing I do now is look for grape vines and remove them by cutting them at soil level. Crafty gardeners can make all sorts of cool things out of those vines, I wish I knew what I could do with mine, they just remain on the forest floor. They've got to go; the vines eventually destroy anything they grow on, eventually pulling trees to the ground.
Get outside, look around while there's a break in the weather and get rid of invasives before they invade your garden.