12 July 2013

Free the weeds

There is something I have been wondering about: why are house owners vigilantly removing weeds and grass from the sidewalk? Everything is burned, salted or poisoned. And, why do the city fight nature to the extent that they prioritise dispatching an army of weed-fighters, to keep it... what? Neat?

Urban weeds

Butterflies live here, you know. And bees, insects, food for birds.

Today I spotted a man by the concrete bridge tunnel, burning all the beautiful wilderness down to the ground. I asked him why. He put his flamethrower down for a second, “I don’t know, I am just assigned to do it.” A familiar response.

City destruction

Carrying a big tank of gas, burning everything down on his path.

Last year I asked a man from the cleaning department, who also happens to be a gardener, the same question. Why are weeds and grass fought so hard? Is it because the roots destroy the pavement? "No". But why, then? "I don't know, maybe because it is easier to keep tidy". See? No one knows, it is just how it has always been done. Worst reason for anything ever!


I entitled this picture, taken last year, "Why?". Poison and salt to kill grass. I just don't get it.

At the flea market I got caught in the rain, and waited it out in a doorway. This made me so happy:

Mini plantation

Besides soothing the eye, the roots keep rainwater from going into the basement. Nature knows what it is doing, why can't we just allow it to help us? Below, one of the few houses in my neighborhood, letting it grow the way it is supposed to:

Beautiful wilderness

How is this harmful to anyone? Whomever is responsible for this act of mini-rebellion, is my personal hero.

If this is just about some misguided sense of aesthetichs, I think it is time we address that. We have the right to enjoy what nature has to give. And, surely the city could use its resources and manpower in better ways? What is your take on this madness? I would really like to know.


  1. Bravo Sandra. Power to the weed lovers. Have you seen the large number of kornblomster on Fredensbro by the cycle path(towards town)and inbetween the car lanes? They´re splendid.

    1. Ha, oh yes, they are the ones in the first shot. :D

  2. No no. They´re blue.

    1. Ah, but they share the same spot. That small piece of wilderness is the only thing working there, crazy carcentric planning.

  3. Have you seen place around Lergravsparken Metro? There is a big spot kept to it's own and it's amazing! I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like the "Weed killers" :-)

    1. No, I haven't seen it, but it makes me really happy to know it exists. More spots like that, please. : )

  4. AnonymousJuly 27, 2013

    Such a great post ! I hate that they are so harsh to kill such a nice wilderness in the middle of the city. The most important question is, what can be done to stop the killings ? Can it be addressed to someone from the kommune ?

    1. Thank you very much. It probably is a decision made at kommune-level. Maybe I need to write and ask them if they have an explanation, and if they would consider stopping it.

      In some places they are letting it grow, like the small pedestrian islands on the heavily trafficked roads. But that is merely a matter of redistributing resources, not because it is beautiful and makes more sense that way.

      One day someone will look back at this time, and shake their heads. How we destroy things on auto-pilot, no questions asked.


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