May 13, 2023
Dandelion: definition; noun
Vegetation; a perpetual perennial that flourishes in any soil despite not being planted knowingly; resists eradication due to prolific nature and determined disposition. Resilient to grass mowing and proven to repopulate one’s yard the day after any lawn is cut. Known to be the subject of a disturbing children’s lyrical chant concerning babies and their heads. A potential redeeming quality, should you choose to appreciate it, is the bright yellow flower that blossoms in early May.
Also see: weed, noxious weed, “razen frazen” weed, edible greens, wine, pretty
This week I harvested the first crop of dandelions of the season. True, last week I mowed for the second time this spring and there were a few blooming dandelions scattered here and there, but this last mow lopped off the heads of surely hundreds and potentially thousands of dandelions.
I have stated previously that I am at peace with my “country grass”. One advantage to living in the country is not feeling obligated to have a well-manicured and weedless lawn. Dandelions, however, really play a country grass attitude to the full.
The truth is that dandelions flourish in my yard all summer long. But they are really only evident to the casual passer-by for about three weeks in May. Late September will see a spate of late season bloomers, but the tidal wave of yellow is mostly a spring phenomenon. So, if I did feel any real embarrassment that it is obvious that I have unilaterally surrendered to said dandelion, I only need to grapple with any remorse for several weeks each year. My conscience has proven to be up to the task.
I actually do have respect for the dandelion for its almost-unapparelled tenacity. Well-beyond just simple lawn evasion, I have seen dandelions push their way up in the middle of gravel parking lots and even black-topped country roads. Concrete does appear to be dandelion proof but I have noted that some along my driveway have roots that lie under the edge of the concrete where they are nearly perfectly protected from any attempts at extraction and removal. Whether you smile at dandelions or loathe them, you have to admire the way that they brazenly live their life, especially when I consider all of the nursery-raised flowers that I have carefully planted and pampered that insisted on dying young, like so many heart-sick poets.
The dandelions in my yard that are now in full bloom certainly rival most of what I have actually planted for sheer volume of blossoms. And I admit that their bright yellow heads are striking against the green of the grass and the blue of the sky. When the dandelions go to seed in a few weeks the yard will be full of gold finches who will stuff their bills with fluff and seeds in a rather ‘amusing-to-watch’ feast.
So, the first crop of my dandelions is in. As expected, this morning, just two days later, finds my yard once again awash in yellow polka dots. I choose to enjoy the show.