the difference between a flower and a weed

The Difference Between A Flower And A Weed

Published by Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, MCC, MS
Sunday, June 6, 2004

Everyday, as I walk out my front door, I am greeted by my volunteer garden of johnny jumpups. I didn’t plant the beautiful little flowers; they simply began appearing in my garden and now have taken over. At first, when I noticed the green sprigs popping up, I removed them thinking they were weeds. One day when I went to pluck one of the weeds, I noticed it was blooming and I left it alone. To my surprise, the weeds turned into a beautiful flower garden.

My husband and I disagree about what the johnny jumpups are. I claim they are beautiful flowers. He claims they are weeds. According to Paul Maslin in the Biology department of California State University, “A weed is a plant growing where it is not wanted.” I have decided that the difference between a flower and a weed is perception. If we don’t want the plant growing in a particular place, it is a weed. My neighbors removed all the johnny jumpups from their garden in order to plant real flowers.

Perception creates our reality. Just as our perception determines if a plant is a flower or a weed, our perception judges if other people are flowers or weeds. We often determine if a person is worth getting to know by their looks. We make snap judgments about others before we ever get to know them. Just as I was plucking the johnny jumpups out of the garden before I could see their real beauty, we judge and dismiss others before we can see their inner beauty. Before we make a snap decision as to whether a person is a flower or a weed, perhaps we should take the time to get to know them. Who knows, if we reserve our judgments about the people we meet, we soon might have a beautiful garden of friends.

A weed is another person’s flower. Perception determines if a plant is a weed or a flower. It all has to do with what we think about the plant, not actually the plant itself. The same goes for people. We often judge others before we get to see their true beauty. Practice suspending judgment and allow yourself time to get to know the other person before you decide if they are a weed, or a flower you would like to include in your garden of friends.

Coaching Question

Are you overlooking flowers because you marked them as weeds too quickly?

Coaching Challenge

This week shift your perception of those you meet and assume everyone is a flower until they prove you wrong.

Article: “The Difference Between A Weed and A Flower Is The Perception of Cultivation” Sir Froggie

Daily Success Formula

Strangers + Perception = Weeds or Flowers

“May all your weeds be wildflowers.” Unknown

“A Weed is but an unloved Flower.” Unknown

“The only difference between a weed and a flower is a judgment.” Wayne Dyer

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee

© 2010 The RAAD Group. All rights reserved.

365 Days of is a daily motivation, goal setting and personal growth ezine for busy women who want to stay on track with their life and goals. Each issue features motivation, inspiration and information that encourages daily action for life long success

What’s the actual difference between a weed and a flower?

Is there a difference between a weed and a flower, other than what an individual gardener thinks is a good or bad plant? My neighbor and I were debating this the other day.

—Dena Jefferson, Highland Park

My definition of a weed is a plant that is growing where it is not wanted in the garden. That said, there are plants like creeping Charlie that would be considered weeds, pretty much no matter where they are growing. Different gardeners will have alternate ideas as to what constitutes a “weed” in their gardens. For example, are violets in the lawn weeds or interesting spring color accents? Or is white clover in the lawn a weed or a great plant for attracting pollinators like bees?

There is a biological difference between a weedy plant and an invasive plant. Weedy plants readily spread (some ornamental plants can be weedy/aggressive in the garden too), especially in disturbed areas, but generally do not pose a threat to the integrity of native plant communities. Invasive plants are usually non-native and are able to establish themselves within existing native plant communities; they threaten the integrity of the plant community by taking over and pushing out native plants. When plants are introduced to a new location, either intentionally or accidentally, they can spread prolifically, outcompete native species for resources and eventually even dominate the landscape. Buckthorn is an example of an invasive plant in the Chicago area that creates a dense thicket and shades other plants out.

Different gardeners will have alternate ideas as to what constitutes a “weed” in their gardens. However, there is a biological difference between a weedy plant and an invasive plant.