Grass isn’t always greener

Of all the common weeds growing in the garden one of my favorites is the Blue-Eyed Grass.

The wider leaves may be grass-like, hence its name, but it is the delicate pointed blue or purply-blue flower with its yellow center that makes it a “save.” And, unlike many of the more interesting, if not downright exotic, plants which I have discovered on the property, this has the added advantage of being quite attractive even when the flower isn’t for the “grass” grows tall in clumps of lovely green. I have found it to be an attractive addition to the bare spots.

Come closer and take another look with me for this plant deserves it. The leaves there are many rise tall and straight. It’s another leaf well, almost for the single flower grows on a stem which seems to protrude from the middle of another of those grass blades.

Six matching petals of blue as small as they are intricate circle the bright yellow center. Each petal is unusual for it comes to a sharp point.

So, until I have better luck getting flowers to grow, this is a keeper. The green’s nice. The small yellow and blue a striking addition.

And so it went as the summer progressed. More and more plants popped up on all sides of the house but they weren’t bothering anything else (like a $14.98 special from Wayside Gardens which hardly grew at all) so got to stay. I carefully weeded around them.

Now I hope I didn’t err, that my weed appreciation has not unleashed a monster. I suspect there will be more. It’s their stubbornness that makes a weed a weed, right? And I suppose there were seeds somewhere in those pretty little flowers that have already been dispersed with orders to start making more pretty little flowers. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in birds and bees to surmise that.

Only now I see (just yesterday) that this little flower has an extra trick up its so-called sleeve. I have no doubt that new plants are started by seed dispersal. It’s the only way for the first or even five or six to get there. But just to be sure this one sends its grasses so tall that eventually they bend over, forming a green skirt as it were around the middle. But then oh, yes, then those leaves grow heavier as the summer passes until they touch the ground. And where they do, and are able to hold on, another clump of blue-eyed grass begins to take form.

Cultivated flowers my garden may never hold. But I’ve found the perfect answer for the places hollyhocks haven’t taken root . . . yet.

A later (and wiser) note. This remains a lovely wildflower but, like most of them, it comes with its own nasty issues. In this case, while the top is being oh! so very attractive, its roots are scurrying way down as swiftly as they can go. When they trespass (as inevitably of course they will) digging one of these up requires a major effort.

I will appreciate them where I must. And treasure the pictures in my wildflower album. As for the rest, they’ve got to go!

Susan Crossett is a Cassadaga resident. Send comments to