Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dandelion: Weed or Magic?

Mateo loves dandelions. He is offended if you call them weeds. Last year a lawn care company stopped by and said, "I see you have a dandelion problem." And Matt responded, "It's only a problem if you don't want them." The representative left and hasn't returned.
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I figure Mateo is in good company. Robert Fulghum of All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten fame, feels the same way about dandelions. Here's an excerpt from his essay:

Mr. Washington was a hard-core lawn freak. His yard and my yard blended together in an ambiguous fashion. Every year he was seized by a kind of herbicidal mania. He started fondling his weed-eater and mixing up vile potions in vats in his garage. It usually added up to trouble.

Sure enough, one morning I caught him over in my yard spraying dandelions.

"Didn't really think you'd mind," says he, righteously.

"Mind, mind!--you just killed my flowers," says I, with guarded contempt.

"Flowers?" he ripostes. "Those are weeds!" He points at my dandelions with utter disdain.

"Weeds," says I, "are plants growing where people don't want them. In other words," says I, "weeds are in the eye of the beholder. And as far as I am concerned, dandelions are not weeds--they are flowers!"

"Horse manure," says he, and stomps off home to avoid any taint of lunacy.

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See, we can relate to Fulghum because we live in a neighborhood of Mr. Washingtons. Yes, their lush, green lawns are pretty. But, we've decided that the best thing for nature is to embrace the dandelions.
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Did you know bees love dandelions? Butterflies too. Our yard has been alive with all kinds of activity. All the bug action also attracts birds. Biodiversity, baby. Without even trying. There are actually a ton of useful qualities to the humble dandelion, but for me, given the declining bee population, that's the top of my list.

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Plus, that "weed" is the first bouquet a child brings his mom. I get oodles of dandelion bouquets every year still and they are the best gift ever. Making a wish on a dandelion and blowing the seeds was magical. And even without wishing, it was just plain fun to blow the fuzzy tufts into the wind.

Dandelions painted on things are a huge trend right now. But I say, stop painting them and start growing them. :) 

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3 comments:

  1. Hi Jen: I'm Connie at http://hotflashncraftn.blogspot.com/, a new GFC friend. I would love it if you stop by and be my friend, too. I never know that about he bees and butterflies... interesting facts. Thanks for sharing. Great photos you used.

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  2. A beautiful tribute to those golden maned flowers, turned wish wands!

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  3. I find it funny that one of the ads I got is for Ortho Weed-B-Gone. AdSense doesn't always make sense.

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