Plant (weed?) identification

(Question)

Hello,
We purchased a house last year and a previous owner obviously enjoyed gardening. There are some beautiful plants that have popped up, but I was hoping to please have some help in identifying what I believe are weeds (although I’m not entirely certain).

 

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

In this photo there are two plants. The lower ground cover plant with the variegated leaves is Lamium sp. It is often used effectively as a ground cover in gardens and grows well in many different locations but loves the shade. It has a nice purple/pink flower. It spreads but is easy to gain control of as it does not have deep roots.

Here is some more information if you would like to read more about Lamiums.

Spotted deadnettle, Lamium maculatum

The taller plant is still young so it is difficult to make a definitive ID. Chances are it is Solidago canadensis – Golden Rod. Many people confuse Golden Rod with Ragweed. Ragweed is the plant that can cause serious allergies, Golden Rod does not. Golden Rod has a pretty feathered yellow flower later in the season and is one of our native plants here in Ontario. It spreads through seeds and Rhizomes. I am attaching a link below if you would like to learn more about this plant.

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/ontweeds/canada_goldenrod.htm#habitat