Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

16 May 2020

In Guarded Praise of Dandelions

"Dandelions symbolize everything I want to be in life" 
"Fluffy and dead with a gust wind?" 
"Unapologetic. Hard to kill. Feral, filled with sunlight, bright, beautiful in a way that the conventional & controlling hate but cannot ever fully destroy. Stubborn. Happy. Bastardous. Friends with bees. Highly disapproving of lawns. Full of wishes that will be carried far after I die."

                                                                --Popular internet dialog from somewhere *


My neighborhood is in a dedicated Natural Reserve zone which does not allow home owners to use anything but environmentally-friendly lawn care products. We also are not allowed to have fences. The Home Owners Association contracts with a service that will treat our yards twice a year (fertilizer, mostly). But that does not prevent Dandelion growth. This means that if Dandelions grow in my yard, I must pull them by hand. It's good exercise.

So each Spring, I play Dandelion Wac-a-mole. Here is my procedure:

I have a tool that is kinda like a glorified flat-head screwdriver. I insert it under the Dandelion plant.

As the soil is loosened around the plant, I can pull it out by the root.
I try to get as much root as possible.

Here you can see more of the garden tool I use for extraction of the plant.
Also, notice the white seeds at the end of a dedicated stem before it's fully unfolded.

My neighbor's yard which is full of Dandelions.
He's taking the bullet to provide early pollen for the bees! LOL!

So far, this Spring, as in the past 16 years I've lived here, I've been able to keep my yard relatively Dandelion-free. But I admire the plant as an example of great survival design and strategy!

* I've not been able to find the source of that intro quote yet. But here is the first time I saw it used.


BONUS: The Dandelion/Witcher Connection

Dive Deeper on The Forgotten History of Dandelions: