Oh, Animal Crossing. You have gotten half the population through the stresses of Lockdown, where the woes of the world could be forgotten for a little while, replaced by gentle gardening, friendly villagers, and extinction-level amounts of fishing.
And whether you play for the flowers or the friendship, there is something most of us have in common – we all want that coveted Five-Star Island.
It took me a couple of hundred, low-effort hours to get my Five-Star rating. I was strolling along one day and there it was – my first Lily-of-the-Valley, that glorious little flower that only grows in the golden soils of paradise.
I dug my little treasure up and planted it right by the airport, just so visitors would know how I great I was. But it got me thinking about those plants at the other side of the garden spectrum, the lowly of the low. The humble weed.
Animal Crossing New Horizons: Five Star Islands Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Weeds
Isabelle would have you believe they are the cockroaches of the gardening world, to be exterminated promptly before they multiply into a catastrophe. She is never remiss in telling you that the reason you are a lowly Four-Star slum is those pesky little blighters.
Weeds, however, are awesome. They are beautiful. And if you have any sort of nature theme – a national park, a clifftop trail, a Wiccan woodland grove – these pests add so much to the aesthetic it is a crime not to use them.
When I got my Five-Star rating, I literally spent hours making custom paving stones to look like weeds so I could capture the right vibe. I did it because I was afraid. Afraid of Isabelle and her, cold, judging eyes. And whilst Lily-of-the-Valley is certainly exciting the first few times you see it, it doesn’t really do much. It is just sort of…there.
So I say free the weeds. You don’t need the validation of a jumped-up Shih-Tzu to have an amazing island. What do dogs know about horticulture anyway?