I am told there used to be a car dealership with a auto repair shop on the southeast corner of Portage Avenue and Furby Street. When I returned to Winnipeg seven years ago it was a huge shell of a three story concrete building covering the entire block. Demolished a couple of years ago, the concrete is gone and the empty ground lot is now fenced in, a garden Mecca for weeds.
It seems that the seeds simply blew in and took root. Some I recognize as flora my dad contended with in growing crops on our Saskatchewan farm, French weed (Stinkweed), dandelions, Mustard, Pigweed, Goldenrod, etc. Interestingly, only on the edge of the fence grow what we called Fox tail. Its official name is Foxtail barley (also named, Bobtail barley, Squirrel tail grass (barley), Intermediate barley).
I have always been fascinated by the Foxtail grass. So hardy, it seems to be able to thrive in any soil, even in gravel, and can tolerate saline soil. So adaptable, it thrives in wet or dry conditions! But what still intrigues me most is the wavy bushy flower tails which do look like fox’s tails. (I think of Simon the fox at the Winnipeg Assiniboine Zoo!).