Stinging nettles, a troublesome but useful weed

Some people have asked why stinging nettles aren’t in my book Wild about Weeds and the answer is:

1) It’s celebrated right at the beginning on the contents page and also in the edible weeds list at the back.

2) I didn’t want to include it as a ‘weed to avoid’ because, although it’s hard to control like mint, it’s SO useful for homemade fertiliser, and in nutritious teas and soups and also for wildlife. Every garden deserves a little nettle!

3) As a design book I didn’t want to recommend it as a top weed to include in designs because I don’t think it is a top ‘design weed’ for borders, it has some beauty but there are many more weeds with brighter flowers or interesting foliage I would turn to first. And of course, it does run quite a lot.

The book is at its core about design, which is why stinging nettles sit somewhere outside of the purpose of the book. A particularly rebellious spreading weed. I could write about so many more aspects of weeds, perhaps in later books or blogs 🙂

Wild about Weeds: Garden Design with Rebel Plants is out now and explores our relationship with mischievous yet beautiful plants that may appear hard to control, but are actually very easy to grow.

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

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