There is a little private car parking area outside my son’s home through which I pass every day. Today I was weeding his driveway and, casting a glance around me, realised that the parking area is once again becoming carpeted with plant. It is not long ago that it was cleared, but weeds have reclaimed the gravelled area and painted it green.
At first glance, in an area of neat gardens and lace curtains, it just looks a bit of a mess. Unkempt and uncared for …almost derelict… in spite of the best efforts of the neighbour who has chosen to undertake its upkeep.
It takes a second glance to realise what you are really seeing; the unstoppable force that is Nature, exuberant with all the energy of summer, expressing itself in miniature.
These are not ‘just weeds’… they are wildflowers and garden escapees that have gone feral. Untamed Nature doing what she does best. I counted dozens of different varieties of grasses and flowers colonising those few square yards of urban gravel and broken concrete.
Not just any plants either…there is a veritable pharmacopeia growing there. Evening primrose, dock and nettle. Feverfew, dandelion and valerian. Violets and herb robert… and those are just the ones whose uses I know.
There are edible plants too…burdock, elder and nettles. Maybe not the best of diets, but you wouldn’t starve. And the blackberries and elderberries are particuarly lush this year.
Expectations require that certain criteria are met and when they are not, judgement or diappointment can set in all too quickly. It is very easy to see the surface and look no further. The car-park was a useful reminder to look again. Beyond our expectations, there may be more beauty than we expect.