Blow ’em away.

dandelionIt’s become an annual tradition. Someone sees me blowing dandelion seeds and says, “Don’t do that.” I ask, “Why do you hate them so much?” And I know that simply raises the question: why do I love them so much? For one thing they’re not actual lions, which are large and scary, and which, if I ever go on a safari in Africa, I hope I’ll only see from a distance. I’d love to go on a safari even though I’m terrified of lions and other large animals, in part because it would be an amazing experience, but mainly because I’d hope to see aardvarks, but that’s another story.

comparisonDandelions are, to me, beautiful intricate flowers that have an amazing ability to come up almost anywhere. I know this technically makes them weeds, but I see them on grassy corners and in vacant lots—places where no one’s growing anything anyway, so there’s no harm in them being there. I also believe the only definition of a “weed” is a plant that grows somewhere you don’t want it. That’s how I know that if I ever followed up on my impulse to plant a pot of dandelions they would all die.

The most common answer I get when I ask what’s wrong with dandelions is that they break up the nice even green of a yard. And my response to that is always, Do you live on a golf course?

lawn

To my friends who’ve heard this joke a thousand times already: I’ll come up with a new one when you give me another reason why you dislike dandelions.

I love the flowers, but I also love the seed heads. There’s something deeply satisfying about blowing away dandelion seeds. It seems like a violent act, but it’s spreading life. It’s what the dandelion wants. Go on. You know you want to.

blow

3 Comments

  1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

    You’re cleverer than I was. I came along after they’d been dug up and put the weeds in pots. Naturally they died.

    Reply
  2. JustJen

    I had an inspiring 5th grade teacher who has us all out picking dandelions one recess. We then washed the ants off, rolled them in egg & batter, and ate fried dandelions in class! (Yeah, this was a good 32 years ago) I love blowing dandelion fluff and never understood the bias people have against pretty yellow flowers in their yard. In my yard, weeds are just another green part, and the only ones that get yanked are the prickly kind and the ones that grow fibrous enough to tangle the mower blade.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That is a great teacher. I had fried dandelions as a Boy Scout. I liked the taste of the dandelions, but it also taught me that everything is better fried. A friend of mine (one who hates dandelions in fact) also has a dessert recipe that uses dandelion flowers. Now’s as good a time as any to start pressuring her to make it.

      Reply

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