I can't tell the difference between plants and weeds. I want to weed my garden before I plant anything.

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weeds weeds

2 Answers 2


Firstly, my favorite bit of advice on weeds: ANY plant that is in a place you don't want it, is a weed. That said, I would label most of what I see here as weeds.

Going through the first picture, along the top the grassy-plants appear to be bluegrass. Not terribly attractive at any point, I'd get rid of it. The plant with the blueish purple flowers on the right side is Creeping Charlie (or ground ivy, or gil over the ground, it has many names), it spreads by runners along the ground and will tend to take-over any open expanse of soil it is allowed to touch. I'd rip that out and plan on taking out any escapes for several years (it can grow back from a very small amount of root structure left behind). The plant on the lower left hand side of the picture that trails out across the rocks is chickweed, it's less aggressive than the others but also not very attractive either.

The one thing I can definitely ID as something that was planted on purpose is in the middle left side of the picture. Those big leaves that are curled in on themselves pointing straight up are Hostas. They are a shade-loving perennial plant that is mostly grown for their leaf patterns. The Hostas are probably the only plant in that picture I would keep around.

The second picture is a little harder to tell, but those five petaled white flowers appear to be Moss Phlox. I have limited experience with them, but they seem pretty enough to keep if they aren't in the way of anything you'd prefer.

  • Thank you so much! I'm a beginner and just moved into this house and would love to plant a nice garden. I'll get started with weeding right away.
    – Miki
    May 6, 2015 at 14:08

Weeds are in the eye of the beholder...the top picture has a varigated hosta (large leaves with white edges to the left side of the picture.) Some of the other stuff here strikes me as things that could go either way on the weed/flower scale depending what you want, but I can't put a name to them from the picture.

Well, I can name the gill over the ground, but I can't as easily point it out - I guess it's most of the blue flowers in the top picture. I consider it a weed in most places, but it's a wildflower to some people. It's in both your pictures but in the bottom one it's intergrowing with something that might be dianthus/pinks (or not.) I'm more prone to calling those a flower but have to weed them out of some areas.

The bottom picture also has foliage on the right side that looks like flowering bulbs.

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