Sunday, May 27, 2018

Bunny Mellon Embraced Friendly Weeds

Giant Mullein growing in her poolside gazebo.

Vanity Fair once described Bunny Mellon as the “high priestess of pruning and pleaching” for her devotion to gardening and personal love for pruning. While Bunny had an affinity for picking wildflowers and celebrated vegetable gardens, she loved pretty weeds as well.

Verbascum thapsus, a biennial plant, was once used as an herbal treatment for coughs, congestion, chest colds, bronchitis, and inflammation. For most of the year, the huge, furry leaves flourish under Bunny’s gazebo, stationed next to her display greenhouse. She felt that weeds were friendly, and often added to the beauty of her home, hence why the weed mullein was allowed to sprout between the stones. Its common name may have come from the Celtic term meaning yellow.

Read the entire article at Oak Spring Garden Foundation

Happy Memorial Day. It's cold, dark, and rainy here at my cottage but I don't mind. xo
The above link will lead you to my previous posts commemorating this holiday, celebrated each year on the last Monday in May.


Pam said...

I love that you shared a picture of Bunny's weeds! Who would have thought...We have been trying to accept many of the weeds growing on our farm. I try to keep them out of food plots, but when I see how much birds and butterflies are attracted to them, it's easier to let the weeds grow.

Speaking of attracting butterflies, I'm planting extra parsley this year, because black swallow tail caterpillars nearly covered my plants last year. It's amazing that those striped worms become such elegant black and blue butterflies!

Happy Memorial Day!!

Lisa said...

How ironic you should do this post on Bunny Mellon and her weeds today. I'm re-reading her bio and getting so much more out of it the second go round. I also had a discussion with a friend today about dandelions and questioning why they are so hated as a flower. I like this quote, but can't vouch for its author authenticity: “A weed is but an unloved flower.” ― Ella Wheeler Wilcox
I wish we had cooler temps and some rain - the temps have been hovering near 100 degrees for the past few days and in the foreseeable future AND it's only May. Not normal stuff at all. Happy Memorial Day and I always remember the reason for the day.

Mia Farrago said...

I love all your older flag photos. In particular, I appreciate your 2010 post about how to hang the flag. Most people don't seem to know there is a Flag Code, which includes lots of rules about the proper display and treatment of our flag (including the members of the VFW we live next to). It is often treated as nothing more than a party decoration, or something to be wrapped in. It should be a symbol that underscores the "united" in the United States of America. We can exercise our constitutional right to express our opinions, and agree to disagree, but in the end we should celebrate the core values embodied in our Constitution. We should take a quiet moment to think about the generations of people who gave their lives to battle the despots of the world. And then hang the flag as a symbol rather than a decoration. Half staff till noon if you can manage that, then full staff till sunset. Then pray for peace.

lisa said...

How cute! I would love to have Bunny's gazebo. Was it you, Rosemary, that posted a link to her upper east side residence not long ago? If I'm not mistaken it was on the market, and quite beautiful.

Penelope Bianchi said...

What perfectly beautiful weeds! They are gorgeous!
She also encouraged "weeds" between her paving stones on all her terraces (and she had a lot of them!) And so, rarely used group between bricks. It is so environmentally good; and the green in between the stones or bricks softens the hardscape; and the water percolates into the ground. Such a brilliant woman!
Too bad so few people share these beautiful and responsible solutions!
Perhaps the word will spread! Thank you Rosemary!!!

lisa said...

And thanks for the link to your Memorial Day posts. I enjoyed reading them. It made me stop for a moment to think of all the brave men and women who lost their lives in defense of our freedom.

Penelope Bianchi said...

in my previous comment.....autocorrect said group when I meant grout. (I had to correct it again!)

Re: the Upper East Side townhouse the Mellons built. It was sold when they sold it; and the people who bought it kept it very much like what it was (very smart people)
It was recently sold again. I can only pray.

The Queen Vee said...

Rosemary, I enjoyed reading the comments to your post as much as I enjoyed your post.

Weeds, that's a sticky subject. Let me tell you I've never seen weeds grow like the ones that sprout up here in Utah. Utah is a desert state and I was so surprised to see how fast they can grow. Pretty they are usually not, friendly they are not....often they are just plain evil and mean. Producing burrs and thorns that can go right through the soles of one's shoes, or cause a flat tire on bikes. I guess our wild grasses are weeds and they look lovely....but the weeds that grow in one's yard here....they are not lovely.

Now Bunny's weeds in her gazebo look like very expensive plants and that gazebo helps them to have a sense of elegance and the right to be there.