Flower or Weed?

When I was a child my sisters and brother would pick dandelion green every spring. In my neck of the woods it was almost a springtime ritual to cook the first tender sprigs of the dandelion greens, add salt and pepper, a bit of butter and vinegar. Back then we gave little thought to the notion that it served as a good spring tonic and was good for cleansing the liver. 

Then there is the dandelion flower— a totally different story. Did you ever bring your mum a handful of the yellow flowers to sit on her kitchen table?

Back in the “old days” we’d pick a bunch and use the stems to make dandelion chains. My sisters always seemed to have the longest chains for some reason. Maybe it was because they were older, and everything they did seemed better to me. Then of course as the dandelions died off, we’d pick them again and we’d blow the seeds into the wind. How lovely it seemed to watch the tiny bits of fluff fill the sky, floating off into the world.

Flower or weed? Have you decided yet?

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  1. Miss Julie

     /  May 26, 2010

    I think they’re very pretty in fields where there’s a lot of dandelions. I don’t really like them, though, when there’s just a few stragglers on the lawn. Strength in numbers, I guess!

    • I wish I could say my lawn only has a few. But really, they don’t bother me. They’re only a problem for the first month or so and then they stop blooming. I prefer to think of them as flowers.

  2. Like Miss Julie says, I welcome them in casual landscapes… meadows and fields… but I’m not so pleased to see them in tailored places like the lawn and gardens. Mind you, we have some non-weed plants that are so invasive they’re more of a nuisance than any weed. i.e., lamium spreads everywhere!

    We have a family tradition that my mother started and I carry on with my married children. Whoever finds the first dandelions of the spring quickly mails one off to each of the others without a comment. The unspoken taunt is that our spring is earlier than their spring. It’s childish, but fun.

    • Carol, I love your family tradition! It sounds wonderfully playful and fun. No need to throw in the word childish. Childish is not a bad word in my book. I’m smiling just thinking about it. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I feel guilty for pulling dandelions, but my neighbors complain when I let the plants grow. How do you cook the leaves?

    • We cook them the same way you would spinach or swiss chard, Ann. Depending upon where you live, neighbours can sometimes put up a fuss. I don’t have that problem where I live thank goodness..

  4. To me, they’re flowers.

    Sadly, our soil is so poor that even the dandelions have to struggle to survive. Since
    I don’t have close neighbors, there isn’t anyone to complain about it when I leave them to grow as they please.

  5. Melanie

     /  May 27, 2010

    I like dandelions best once they go to seed. Blow and make a wish!

    Children see dandelions as flowers, while most adults see them as weeds. Kind of sad what growing up can do to a person’s perspective on the world, huh?

    • I think you hit the nail right on the head! You know me, I do think it’s sad that we loose that playfulness, that delight we found in things when we were children. Blow and make a wish is such a magical way to think. I can’t look at a dandelion that has gone to seed without feeling the urge to pick it and send the seeds flying!

  6. I used to love blowing dandelion seeds everywhere! My parents always complained and said that just grew more dandelions, but I was okay with that. Now my kids blow the seeds and I just watch without saying a word. :)

  7. A field full of dandelions can only be beat by a field full of bluebonnets or Indian paintbrush. That’s dandelions from a distance, though. Close up, I don’t mind the actual flower, but the rest of the plant is definately weedy-looking.

  8. Judi Hiltz

     /  May 29, 2010

    Yes, I believe that it is most surely is a weed. Anything that is that hard to get rid of has to be a weed.

  9. Weeds!!!! And if my kids blew the seeds around – it was 3 days in the Iron maiden for them. Okay – not really. But they are stinkin’ weeds!

    • Glad you added the kidding part..You were scaring me again, Dave!

      Stinkin’ weeds is it? Where’s your child like wonder? Your sense of fun?

      • Yes I was kidding – I’m very close to my boys. They tell me I was/am a good dad. Still don’t like weeds – even if they do have yella flowers.

        Child-like wonder hah! Wasn’t much time for developing that in my day. I was getting a pay check when I was 11. Did have fun though – still do.

  10. Dave, how nice that your boys tell you that you’re a good dad all on their own with no prompting or bribes…lol!

    Seriously though, sometimes we forget to tell people the important things. :)

    I bet you kept them laughing when they were kids, probably still do..

  11. There’s SO much in your blog which I ermm REALLY want to read =) and will surely will be doing so. Your blog attracted my attraction like a magnet. Looking forward to learn a lot from you.


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