Wildflower Weeds

chicory growing in western north carolina
I have Chicory about everywhere along the roadside…the blooms are beautiful blue in the morning. Italian herbs have I…Oregano and Basil for spaghetti pie…LOL I grew the little Mexican Gherkin last year…fun to watch and eat…sort of a sweet/sour taste. Loves the hot muggy weather.

Your post reminded me of this poem…Hopefully not a widow, but me in the future…

“A poor old widow in her weeds
Sowed her garden with wildflower seeds;
Not too shallow, and not too deep,
And down came April drip-drip-drip.
Up shone May, like gold, and soon
Green as an arbour grew leafy June.
And now all summer she sits and sews
Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows,
Teasle and pansy, meadowsweet
Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit;
Brown bee orchis, and Peals of Bells;
Clover, burnet and Thyme she smells;
Like Oberon’s meadows her garden is
Drowsy from dawn to dusk with bees.
Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs,
And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes;
And all she has, is all she needs–
A poor old widow in her weeds.”

by Walter de la Mare…Peacock Pie

I just love me some wildflower weeds….

B.Ruth ~2015


I hope you enjoyed the comment and the poem B.Ruth shared back in 2015. I’d say the widow had discovered what it takes to be happy in life: be satisfied with what you’ve got.



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  • Reply
    August 31, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Barbara-yes the kind growing in my yard is the edible kind-although we havent eaten it LOL : )

  • Reply
    June jolley
    August 29, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    This poor old widow must not have raised a vegetable garden. Who has time in June to sit and sew? Ha!

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    August 29, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I also love wildflower weeds! How could you not love such a beautiful little cornflower blue flower with sweet little frayed edges and delicate center. I think Dandelions are beautiful too, bright sunny yellow little powder puffs of happiness. And what about the intricate beauty Queen Ann’s Lace. Wildflowers, natures way of saying “look at me”.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 28, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Tipper and
    Ed…Funny you should mention the working roadside prisoners of Western NC.
    When I was a young, young girl a week long visit to my Aunt in Canton became a memory I kept in my mind for years. We were outside, (she lived in the country side), when all of a sudden my Aunt exclaimed, “B, we need to go inside right now!” I thought she might be getting hungry or something! I heard some singing and then voices in the near distance of the house. Of course, I “lollygagged about” until she made a firm command of “let’s go!” Right then I saw them, black and white stripped pants and shirts moving along the edge of the highway, cutting weeds and brush. They stared at us and I stared back as we headed to the door!
    After going in, I asked my Aunt why we couldn’t watch them walk along and work. She explained that they were the “chain gang workers” and where they came from. Since we were alone, and of her hearing stories of one escaping from the gang over somewhere near Raleigh, that it was better to stay in the house until they were gone. I was scared but also felt empathy for them chained together, only moving short distances together. In the summer heat, with a two men with long guns watching over them, I thought that they sure must regret what ever bad thing that they had done.
    I don’t remember any color in their uniforms only stark black and white. This of course was the early 1940’s and times have changed. I tried to quit dreaming about those mean. evil, (as my aunt claimed), chain gang people. Growing up after years of only seeing beautiful blue Chicory along the roadside, did the chain gang memory dream cease!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I was so busy with the weedy garden and hiding vegetable I missed The Blind Pig. I so appreciate all wildflowers–guess I am the only one in the neighborhood who loves the lowly dandelion.
    I just had to add that Bluefield WV was named for the fields of these beautiful little wildflowers. They are all along the road, and I never knew they were chicory! Chicory coffee very popular in New Orleans, and I was told started adding many years ago when coffee hard to obtain and expensive. I never bothered to research to see if this was fact or fiction.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Love wildflowers and the poem!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    And how bout that little jingle we used to listen to on the Grand Ole Opry?
    &#127932 &#x266B &#x266A Luzianne Coffee with chicory that brings out coffee flavor. You only use about half as much. Luzianne’s a money saver &#x266A &#x266b

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    August 27, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    They grew in abundance in the ditches where I grew up too, and I loved them for that special blue color some call French Blue. Whatever…I loved them and often brought a handful of them in the house to put in a small vase in my bedroom. I was told they were weeds and I should toss them instead of bringing them in the house, but I paid no mind and brought them often anyway.
    I don’t see as many of them here in the sandhills of NC, but when I do, I know I smile, weeds or not – still loving that simple blue flower.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    barbara lunsford davis
    August 27, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Is this chicory the eatable kind?

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    The blue flowers of the Chicory make a beautiful picture. If I ever saw one, I didn’t pay any attention. Ron Stephens mentioned the Chicory Roots being used in coffee. I think Louisanne Coffee is what made it famous, but I never cared much for that stuff. I
    drink Folgers now, use to love Eight O’clock, but either my taste changed or they started grinding up leaves in it…Ken

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    This is a “don’t tell” story, or at least don’t tell the WI DNR. Many years ago I went to Iowa to take a week long spinning class. While there I discovered and enjoyed a wonderful blue flower that grew profusely along the rural roads. I liked it so much that I borrowed a shovel and brought back some to WI. I had no idea what it was, and it never took off on my property, BUT in the last 10 years or so I see it along the highway that I travel to shop. As you can guess I fell in love with wild chickery, which I believe some consider an invasive species. Maybe, it just blew here from Iowa. Tell me it is so!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 27, 2016 at 11:59 am

    There is one brightly colored artifact I miss seeing along the roadside these days. Though as brilliantly adorned as flowers, they were never noted for their fragrance. They were the prison road gangs that once flourished along the highways and byways in Western North Carolina. Like blossoming herbs they served a dual purpose. They forced men to actually repay some of their debt to society and they served as a deterrent to male children who would even consider breaking the law.
    In my youth there was less talk of being sent to prison and more of being “sent to the road.”

  • Reply
    Phyllis S
    August 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Love my flowering weeds and this poem too!

  • Reply
    Chuck Howell
    August 27, 2016 at 11:20 am

    The Poem is Beautiful. My favorite flower & color. I grew up in Pocahontas County West Virginia & growing happily along the roadside, as if greeting all, was Chicory. Now, living in California, I don’t see it as much, but when I visit my hometown the first thing to get my attention is the rich blue blossom. So common is the chicory in Cass, Slaty Fork, Slabtown, Stoney Bottom, Cloverlick, Valley Head, Elkins etc. etc., no one seemed to call it by name, as I remember. I didn’t know it’s name until I was much older. Thank’s for the Poem & Picture. I’m working on a Song to celebrate.

  • Reply
    eva nell mull wike, PhD
    August 27, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Well, I don’t want to spoil all these positive thoughts from caring folks. BUT i have been reading today’s FRONT PAGE of the “Knoxville News Sentinel” regarding the story of a man killing a Police Officer in Maryville. So very sad!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 27, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I had forgotten about this shared post. Tis time for the Fall weeds to glow. Hopefully we will get enough rain for them to still put on a show. Purples and gold with those hints of red and linen white spaced about near the woodlands.
    I always loved this poem and as I always loved the song “Little Old Ladies” sung by Paul.
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS It is going to be a “hot’n” today and tomorrow here in East Tennessee.
    The “crisp fodder” crunches like tater chips when the cow dare takes a chaw! ha

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Tipper–Had Walter de la Mare been a son of the Appalachians (he wasn’t–he was an English poet and I think he may have written some psychological thrillers or short stories as well–my college days of English lit are too far away for me to recall), he would have assuredly changed one line of this delightful poem. Instead of peeping at her garden “with bright brown eyes,” the widow would have viewed it “with chinquapin eyes.”
    Taking Ron’s comment about use of chicory root in coffee a step farther, the taste for it came from the Civil War era when ersatz coffee was made from chicory. Long ago I had a colleague, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Massey, who was one of the leading historians of the Civil War. One of her books was “Ersatz in the Confederacy,” and she could wax eloquent about chicory.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Beautiful! and the recognition of real beauty!

  • Reply
    Denise Mauck
    August 27, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I’ve never met a flowering weed I didn’t admire.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 27, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Chicory used to be very common on summer roadsides, at least in KY, back in the 1950’s and 60’s but since then has become much less frequent. Each bloom, like day lily, only blooms for the one day. It has such a lovely shade of blue. Roasted chicory root used to be a common ingredient in ground coffee in the US. I suspect that is no longer true.
    I’m partial to growing herbs myself. And I like to dry the ones that don’t survive the winter such as basil. Or I dry the others to give away. My thyme survived the summer drought without showing any effects but as soon as it got rain it shot up lots of new green shoots.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 27, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I love the poem. Chickery flowers are so beautiful. I smile every time I see them.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 27, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Yep happiness and contentment is right where you are!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Thanks for sharing this poem, B. Ruth! I love this interpretation of “widow’s weeds” – much cheerier than the notion of being dressed all in black for mourning.
    And Tipper, I’d say you’re right! 🙂

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