Tag Archives: dandelion

Happy Holidays

A Dandelion Wish

The dandelion flower tells us that life is short, delicate, and you never know where the winds may take you.  Irrespective of that, don’t forget to dream, wish, and remember the bigger joys that come from the little things in life.”  Anonymous

May you find peace.  May you find happiness.  May you find the key to unlock your dreams.  May your garden be abundant.  May your beehives prosper.  May you succeed in everything you do.  

All of this is within you, within your grasp, and from it may you find joy every day. 

Happy Holidays

 

Flowers For Pollinators III

Weed Flowers

Most people hate weeds, maybe with an exception for Cannabis.  I don’t like weeds either but as I turn our little garden patch back to nature, to make it into a sanctuary for other species as well as ourselves, I have to learn to get along with weeds.  When I walk through a farmer’s market, I also note that they sell many flowers we usually call weeds.  Quite expensively too, for something you would like to get rid of.  So, it’s still true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Pollinators love weeds.  There is no doubt about it as we try to eliminate them but they continue to proliferate with help from pollinators.  Many of these weeds are also edible and have medicinal properties.  As I’ve gained more knowledge about them, my perception has changed drastically and I have made room for them in the garden.

Here’s to beautiful weeds…

Queen Anne's Lace is loved by many pollinators
Queen Anne’s Lace is loved by many pollinators.  I have a patch of them and they look like snow in summer.
Chicory flower changes color from sky blue to lavender blue as it ages
Chicory flowers change color from sky blue to lavender blue as it ages.  Roots can be used as a coffee substitute.
Milkweed
I let Common Milkweed grow mainly for Monarch butterflies but I realized that honeybees love it.  It also has very sweet fragrance.  The downside is that it can spread not just by seeds but suckers.
Wild rose
I let Wild roses (Rosa multiflora) grow along our property line as they are very thorny and can be trimmed into a hedge.  With a strong clove scent and plenty of rose hips for birds, how can I ever deny its existence.
Morning glory
If you let Morning glory set seeds, you’ll not be able to get rid of it.  At least in my area winter helps kill them off but their seeds will grow next year.  My solution is to dig them up and replant where I want them.
Virgin Bower
Virgin’s Bower (Clematis Virginiana L.)  is in the clematis family and bees love it.  I don’t know how it gets into my garden.  The first one grew in the area that my two dead clematis used to be in.  I thought it was a seedling from one of the dead clematis.  Since I wasn’t sure what it was, I let it grow until it flowered this year.  Now ‘it’ has become ‘they’ because where ever the stem touch the ground it grows roots.
Clover
I have plenty of White Clover (Trifolium repens) in the lawn and I have to be careful when to mow so I don’t cut down the flowers.
Goldenrod
Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) is a late season food source for pollinators
Jewel weed
Jewel weed (Impatiens pallida) is not just beautiful, it’s leaves also help sooth itchiness from poison ivy.
Dandelion
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) represents spring.  I know that spring is surely here when the lawn explodes with this bright yellow flower and I can stop feeding the bees.  It’s leaves and root are edible too.

There are more weeds growing in our garden than what I’ve mentioned above.  I’m fascinated by the fact that many of them are edible. I have not tried them all except for wild Daylily and dandelion.  I’m also surprised that many of the flowers and herbs in our area are considered weeds someplace else.

References:

  • Weeds of North America by Richard Dickinson and France Royer
  • Weeds of the Northeast by Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal and Joseph M. DiTomaso
  • Edible Wild Plants: Wild Food From Dirt to Plate by John Kallas, PhD.
  • Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer
  • Northeast Foraging by Leda Meredith

Happy Earth Day

Respecting Mother Earth

This is the only home we have.  Mother Earth gave life to us.  She was here millions of years before we were.  The Earth is kind enough to provide all that is necessary to allow us to exist, but if we keep destroying her, she may not be able to continue supporting us.

Blade of grass encased in ice with a blooming dandelion in the background
Blade of grass encased in ice with a blooming dandelion in the background

She can create and she can destroy.   The picture above was taken on April 5th when we had rain that turned to an ice storm in the  night. That was after we had a couple of weeks of warm weather when everything was sprouting and beginning to bloom.

We need our Earth to live, but she does not need us.  We owe it to her and to ourselves to respect her kindness, her gifts.  After all, she breathed life into us, not the other way around.

 

Dandelion

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Dandelion (Lentodon taraxacum) the weed that everyone hates seeing in their lawn. The weed that produces bright, Canary yellow flowers all over the lawn and in turn become a soft, almost snowflake like, white, globe-shaped seed head  after the flowers fade.  Just a little wind and the seed pods fly from the mother plant and germinate wherever they drop, even a little crack on the sidewalk will do.  The only way to get rid of them is to dig up the tap root.  A nearly impossible feat.

Officially, it is a weed.  But a very useful and attractive weed by many peoples standards.  If you don’t care much about having a perfect, green lawn, then Dandelions are a beautiful addition to the garden.  When they’re blooming, they make the lawn look like a prairie after a spring rain.

Rabbits and bees love them.   They’re also edible for us, though we haven’t tried them yet.  I know you can stir fry the leaves, dip the flower in batter and deep-fry them… I heard you can make beer from the flowers as well.

For me, the bright yellow flowers are a welcome sign of spring, as long as they stay in the lawn.  The opposite for Bill.  He picks any flower he can catch up to.  The lawn is his, the garden mine!  Ha.. ha..

Flower in full bloom
Little white globe, looks like the New Year's ball in Times Square
Close up of the seeds