Today is dandelion picking day. This means that I run out into the garden with a long, pointy stick and try to dig up the endless array of dandelions. The problem? I like them.
I don’t mind dandelions. I don’t mind many of the weeds that sneak into the flower beds here at Seven Oaks, for that matter. My spouse, on the other hand, is engaged in Weed Wars. He goes ballistic at the sight of one cheerful dandelion. He wants to run for the Ortho spray and I’m screaming, “No! Wait! Cats! Organic garden! Environment!”
So I trudge out with my long metal two-pronged weeding fork or the oddball long trowel someone gave me, and I dig and dig into the soft clay and attempt in vain to pull the dandelions out by the long taproot. And you know the punchline, right? The taproot always breaks. I think dandelions take that as a challenge and grow back even stronger. But, to please my spouse, I’ll head out with my bucket and fork later and do my best to halt the march of weeds for another day.
Sometimes I think my life is spent halting something while simultaneously marching forward. Outside, it’s the halt of weeds. Inside, it’s to halt the creeping dirt and pet hair that threatens to overwhelm the carpets and wood floors. And lately, it’s trying to halt the creep of time by getting progressive “no line” bifocals (Optometrist: “No one can tell someone as pretty as you is wearing bifocals!” Me: “They can when they see me doing the weird squint and look down the nose thing!”).
I’ve come to accept the fact that unlike my early blooming dandelions, I’m a late bloomer. I’m starting to embrace all sorts of new interests. Homemaking. Who would have ever thought that me, who used to wear a t-shirt that said, “A woman’s place is in the house – and the SENATE” and who once subscribed to Ms. magazine in college is now reading housekeeping blog, and trying to use The Flylady system to learn housekeeping? I’m trying is about the best way I can put it.
Sometimes, I feel like a dandelion plunked down among the daisies. Out of place, but tough and resilient. And dandelions do have their uses, right? Tea, medicinal herb…bouquet of pretty flowers…harbinger of spring.
Off I go to weed out the undesirables from the garden and the undesirables from my lifestyle. Like the dandelions, they have their uses, but in the right time and place!
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.
[…] you should never harvest dandelions from along roadways (for reasons which I shall explain later, in addition to the obvious safety […]