In honor of “Weed Appreciation Day,” I’d like to talk about clover.
As a child, I loved the patches of clover that grew in my parents’ front yard. I taught myself to make chains of the long-stemmed clover flowers and spent many hours searching the patches in hopes of finding a lucky four-lobed leaf. (Though I never did spot one.)
The clover leaves felt soft and cool underfoot in the heat of summer, and the blossoms had no fragrance but they bobbed like little white puffballs in the breeze.
Never once did I realize people considered clover a weed and a pest.
Fast forward a decade or two (ok, three).
Four years ago we replaced our front lawn. We tore out the ugly old one (infested with nasty bermuda grass) and put in a lovely bluegrass and fescue sod. It was lush and blue-green – a pleasure to behold.
Then, last spring, I noticed a patch of clover starting up along one edge. I considered pulling it out, but decided not to. This spring, the clover covers about a three-foot section of lawn. By summer it will have grown even more.
The gardener in me says I should pull it, kill it, remove it – before it has the chance to take root and take over.
The child in me remembers the feel of clover under my feet.
Last week I took a walk in the clover patch. It felt every bit as good as I remembered.
Afterward, the adult I am had a talk with the child I was … and decided the clover stays. In many ways, we all have to grow up. In other ways, not so much.
What do you think about clover? Dandelions? Are there any weeds you’re willing to leave where they grow?