What Is a Weed?

There is a spot in our back yard that seems like it could use some ground cover. It's a space that's rather enclosed between a building and some bricks lining the path from the back gate, around said building and up to the back door of the house, which is the only door that's ever used for some reason I haven't been able to figure out. Anyway, we bought some English ivy because I love it and it's like a tiny dream come true to have a house with a spot that I can put English ivy in. I've been warned not to let it crawl up the building or the tree, but it will be difficult for me. I long to have an ivy-covered wall so much that I could burst. I could melt. I could write a cozy mystery.

So, I'm pulling out the weeds that are in this space and I begin to wonder why. I mean, we were at the hardware megamart in the garden section and asking the wonderfully helpful lady about plants that could grow there, because the space gets a glimpse of sunlight in the morning and that's about it as far as direct light goes. But why? Why are we concerned about finding a plant to grow in a space that is already completely covered in plant? I asked Nameless about this and he said, much as I expected, "They're weeds."

"But, what is a weed?" I pondered. I mean, who's to say that this plant is a good plant to have covering your ground and this plant is not? It seems to me that in a field of cotton, a rosebush would be a weed. So, why are we (myself included) determined to extricate this plant that is thriving, only to replace it with one that we can only hope will do well? In answer to my spoken question, 'What is a weed?, Nameless said, "In other words, you throw it away." Well, that's that.

The plant in question is rather vine-like. Small leaves and tiny white flowers. When I pulled it up, I could grab handfuls and it came up like a carpet – only in a few places was it connected to the ground. It was easy to pull out because it's been raining so much. (Man, with this drought going on, did I ever think I'd write those words?) There was a smattering of other weeds in there, but mostly it was this one type. Clearly, this plant was suited to this environment. I see weeks, months and years of pulling this little guy out of my English Ivy bed.

I've put a few pictures below of the weed in question. It's not such a bad looking plant. I've pulled most of it out. I clearly underestimated how many English ivy plants I'd need to begin with, so I'll work on the project some more later. All of that to say why I have not included a picture of my English ivy bed. Right now it's solid ground with a few sprigs of ivy sticking out here and there. But, I was assured that it grows fast.

Yours truly,

e A r n i e