Call a Spade a Spade

Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Wednesday 17th May 2023

I’m usually quite direct (previous readers may have noticed!). I’ve worked on countless development sites over my career and some of my former employees didn’t graduate beyond manual labour for a reason.

I call a spade a spade and I don’t sugar coat important messages. I don’t believe in a culture where everyone should win a medal just for taking part.

Now, the RHS is asking us to start calling weeds “hero plants” – this is typical of a culture where we can no longer say what we mean.

Yes, we need to re-think our relationship with plants – stop over-using herbicides, plant some trees, bring some interesting species and variety instead of sterile wall-to-wall manicured lawns…

Yes, we need to take action to increase the amount of forests and hedgerows in this country and stop covering our gardens with impermeable driveways and fake grass…

Yes, some plants that are commonly seen as weeds have real benefits for biodiversity…

No, we don’t need to start calling weeds “hero plants” as if we’re going to hurt their feelings.

The definition of a “weed” is any plant growing in the wrong place. If a plant is found where it’s going to cause a problem, call it what it is – a weed – and get rid of it.

Just have an honest conversation about the benefits that no-mow, wildflower border and specific can bring; don’t try to ban the word “weed” as if it’s somehow insensitive.

Mike C

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Mike Clough

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