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Bare earth. Not a common occurrence in this subtropical landscape that surrounds me. Nature manages to sprout with life wherever possible, and cover all exposed dirt with vegetation as soon as the real estate becomes available. In the seemingly sterile sliver of dirt of a cracked city sidewalk, and on the fertile suburban garden of this aficionado; an endless library of dormant seeds and spores patiently await, as if aware that at some point in time conditions will be favorable.

The joy of gardening is the appreciation of such flora. Interfering like a god in the natural processes of plants; pretending to understand the infinite number of variables taking place. But thanks to the Socratic paradox, the mortal truly interested in any discipline eventually arrives to the most humbling places of them all. For me, that place is the garden.

With time the gardener realizes that nature disagrees with many of the choices we make, especially our monocultures. Eventually, gardening becomes a spiritual practice, the scope of the admiration broadens from the individual plant to the garden as a whole. A dynamic system where all factors are equally important, a complex equation that we will never fully understand, but with plenty of evidence that every plant has a purpose; even the ones that we categorize as weeds.

Many experienced gardeners will tell you that over time they have learned to tolerate and even admire the persistence of these plants. In South Florida one particular specimen seems to dominate the landscape, Bidens Alba.

And while it is officially considered a weed by the USDA, Bidens Alba is responsible for a significant amount of nectar production in Florida. Others consider the plant edible and medicinal. I am more interested in the life they bring to the garden and placing their decorative daisy like flowers in the home.



Bidens Alba grows in a wooden vase by Persian artist Nima


Eat the weeds :: A comprehensive guide of edible weeds

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