If Life Gives You Dandelions
I was so excited yesterday to find the first tiny dandelion plants of the season yesterday. I see you clinching your fists in horror, but the truth of the matter is that I don't really mind them so much. The excitement came from being able to give a couple rabbits a tasty, free treat.
In my humble opinion, dandelions are not the worst thing that can happen. I have taught myself how to pull even the longest root intact out of our heavy clay soil. Trust me folks, if you break that root there will be hell to pay. To date, advancing age has not robbed me of this ability. Try it yourself. Move about an inch of soil so you can get a good grip, then give it a good pull. After about 3 good tries you will be amazed at your root extracting skills.
Along those same lines, I have never met a thorny weed I could not pull out with my bare hands. They may be bristling with thorns from their leaves, stems, shoots and roots, but as far as I can tell there is always a finger sized thorn free zone right at or below soil level. If your experience varies please let me know.
The thing is, not all weeds are exactly ugly. Yellow is about my favorite color in the garden and I don't mind a bit having a few dandelions decorating my lawn here and there. Some weeds do need to go. Buttercups are cute and all and they were the go to flowers for building the flower chains of my childhood. But they are thugs. The kind of thugs that make you run screaming back into the house and take up quilting. I am still struggling with them but it seems that improving the soil does help (thank you rabbits).
The point I really want to make is that I want to garden lightly. If my neighbors judge me for having a spring display of dandelion flowers and seedheads on my lawn, then so be it. I will bear my messy yard badge with honor.
In closing, I will share the story of how I met my best lifelong friend. I was in my 20s and working in a dress shop. One of my co-workers mother came in and brought us a beautiful bouquet. Proud of my burgeoning plant identification skills, I said "them's all weeds". She looked me in the eye and said "I prefer the term wildflowers". I think it was actually a dirty look she gave me, I didn't mind.