Sunday, May 5, 2013

Beauty, in the eye of the beholder

We've had plenty of rain this spring and with the moisture comes gorgeous green grass and foliage ... and dandelions. My friend and I talked about these hearty weeds recently, and how prevalent they are. No one plants dandelions and yet they grow, spread, blow beyond the borders of the yard and fluorish. I haven't found Dandelion Food at my local greenhouse. And, I won't be asking the master gardeners what pesticides are recommended to ward off buggy predators, for dandelions.

Photo © Diane Weidenbenner
There are plants that I want to grow in our yard and flower beds. My husband and I have worked for years to get a rose garden started and this will be the second year that we will have enough flowers to decorate beyond the flower bed (into vases to be enjoyed indoors). We also have a transplanted peony bush that seems to be holding its as well as a hydrangea that either will or will not bloom. (It's only bloomed one year since my husband and I moved to Indiana eight years ago - the year my mom died. I'm convinced that God encouraged it to bloom to encourage me that there is life after death and that other such miracles can occur.)

We don't like to use weed killers on our lawn because we use well water and we back up to a creek. We're not big fans of having these toxic ingredients leaching into our groundwater and we don't want to poison our entertaining wildlife surrounding our house.

My friend, Sandy, and I discussed how dandelions are deemed a weed by those of us who don't want them in our yards. The only difference sometimes between a weed and a prized plant is the classification that we give them.

If I were really to think about dandelions, I could like them. In fact, if I think about it, dandelions could be considered the perfect perennial. The bright yellow flowers are a nice pick-me-up among the other green landscape. They are hearty and survive almost anything. You can start out with just a few and in no time, you have an entire yard-full. And, when they go to seed, they are an amazing natural beauty up close, as the individual seedlings form an intricate web of life, which is soft to the touch and which will blow into a hundred pieces if disturbed.

Upon further research, I found that dandelions have a multitude of health benefits. There are also several recipes I've heard of, using the dandelion plant. There is dandelion salad, which is a tasty, nutritional dish that you can add tomato and red onion to, along with hot bacon dressing. You can also make dandelion wine and tea.

I've come to appreciate dandelions and all the benefits that they can bring to our lives. I haven't made a salad or tea yet from the bounty in my front yard but I'm tempted. For now, I'll just enjoy their beautiful flowers and courageous ability to multiply. It's not like they are going anywhere soon.


mare ball said...

Hmmm. Never knew that about dandelions. I remember, as a kid, thinking they were pretty, but my dad was always trying to kill them, telling me they were weeds. Perspectives change, don't they?
from The Dugout

Beverly Fox said...

I normally curse them because of how hearty they are and how easily they grow where I don't want them to. Thanks for giving me reason to look at them with fresh eyes!