WEED OR FLOWER?
It’s springtime and the flowers are blooming. Chestnut Hill locals are out in their yards toiling the earth planting flowers, manicuring bushes, watering their yards and weeding their gardens to make their curb appeal beautiful, and it’s working. I secretly observed one neighbor singing to her tulips, they were very happy. I too am doing the same with my foliage… singing.
Gardening is new to me. I am a big city girl. Three years ago I rented a small property where all I needed was a weed whacker for lawn maintenance. My porch flower pots were my pride and joy. Well things have changed.
Recently I purchased my own lot of land. Now I’ve moved up to a non-electric push mower. Gratefully, I can still get away with the weed whacker method in a pinch when necessary. I called up a friend who is a landscaper and asked if he would come over and tell me what I bought. I didn’t know if I was pulling weeds or flowers and the trees… I own trees now! So he came over and pointed saying, that is a weed, that is a flower, this is called… and he spoke in latin, and I rolled my eyes.
I began to become more conscious of my surroundings walking through town looking at my neighbors landscaping. I was doing my due diligence prior to my landscaping efforts. Yes I am the one with my phone taking pictures of your lawn, be flattered not frightened. One day while sowing seeds and pulling weeds on my own lawn, I realized this is hard work! I thought my hanging flower pots were maintenance.
I started looking around and questioning why I was pulling certain weeds when they are just as pretty as other leafy greens. They are small, dainty and not intimidating right? What’s wrong with this clover like specimen that has been labeled a weed and therefore discriminated against? They serve a purpose, which is to send your kids outside and tell them to come back when they find a four leaf clover. Then we will get a pot of gold!
My yard doesn’t have much color yet however I do have a few beautiful small yellow flowers. They are known as dandelions. Dandelions have been unjustly labeled a weed, dismissed, plucked and thrown out by many. I got to thinking and I thought to myself, what person on high said the dandelion was a weed? Why is it the black sheep of the gardening community? They are awesome! They start with a green stem and a white poof of blow away wishes.They are little wish makers and have given many children countless moments of magical hope. I remember my lawn growing up as a child and pulling that flower, closing my eyes, making a wish with all my might and then the big moment, blowing on the mystical white seed heads. I would watch as they floated off to wish fulfilling land, they were my field of poppy bliss… and then I would forget about them. I used to make bouquets out of them for my mother and by her reaction they were the finest flowers ever grown. Hey it kept me happy for a minute.
So how come “someone” has reeked havoc on the dandelions and convinced people that they are less than, say the tulip or hibiscus?? I started to get mad, here I was in the dirt on my hands and knees killing an innocent flower because someones aesthetic said so. Well I have some news for that “someone”. First, the dandelion is not a weed it is a flower and I have proof. I wikipedia’d it.
French dent-de-lion, meaning lion’s tooth) is given to members of the genus, and like other members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret”.
That is FOUR TIMES the word FLOWER is used in it’s opening definition. Wikipedia is a very credible source for research that I find quite convenient. They make topics very easy to understand.
Dandelions are not only beautiful flowers, they have lots of nutritional value. Energy, dietary fiber, protein and multiple vitamins like A, B, C, D, and K. Europeans have gathered dandelions to eat since prehistory and Europeans are foodies, and smokers. Dandelions are used to make beverages that are HEALTY like caffeine-free coffee, root beer and WINE. I told you they had blissful happy mystical qualities. They have medicinal properties as well. Did I mention wine?
I would like too encourage “Hillers” to embrace the dandelions. Don’t pull them out of their natural habitats, let them grow, embrace them, they are beautiful. Let’s all come together and take a stand. Now if you do pull them, please use them. Make a dandelion salad and some wine. Have your neighbor over, sit on the porch, fellowship and watch the grass grow while you enjoy your delicious, nutritious meal. Does Weavers Way sell dandelions??