Weeds - dandelions


by Pippa Greenwood

Why is it that dandelions are regarded as weeds? They're amazingly beautiful, have a strong and reliable flower colour, they're hardy, vigorous plants and they're even edible.


Weeds - dandelion in flowerWhy is it that dandelions are regarded as weeds? They're amazingly beautiful, have a strong and reliable flower colour, they're hardy, vigorous plants and they're even edible.

I love dandelions, which is great as the warm, wet weather of the past two years seems to have produced a bumper crop of them. Right now they look stunning in my grass (no, I don't call it a lawn) and the central strip of my drive.

They're well loved by many insects and adored by the local rabbits (I wonder if this is a good or a bad thing - do they fill the rabbits up so they eat less of my vegetables, or do they merely serve as an appetizer, before the bunnies move on to my prized crops?). Dandelions are also popular with children, who love to pick the flowers and play with the seed heads.

I might be thought of as mad, but I really like seeing them. True, if I had an immaculate lawn, I might look differently on dandelions. They have a tendency to cause the grass beneath them to die back, so would not be a welcome sight. I'm glad I don't feel the need to fetch an old kitchen knife and spend ages carefully digging out the long tap roots; instead I'm freed of that particular task and thoroughly enjoy my yellow-spotted grass!



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Gardeners' World Web User 29/05/2008 at 07:21

Like Pippa I love dandelions. I have picked many heads from the garden this summer. Ive washed and dried them and popped them into freezer bags and am hoping to make dandelion wine. Not tried making it before, but as a child I used to pick the heads for a neighbour who made wine. I have a small wild area with dandelions and buttercups. I must admit I havnt eaten dandelion leaves as yet. I will have to try them in a salad.

Gardeners' World Web User 29/05/2008 at 21:21

Pippa, many is the time recently that I've gazed at a roadside verge whilst driving to work and delighted at the lovely bright dandelions that seem to shine from within themselves! They certainly are beautiful and I will admit to not being completely on top of them in my "lawn" but I do have to be careful as I live in quite a close neighbourhood where some of the residents are somewhat less enamored with them so I try not to let them take over too much and seed all over my neighbours' lawns! I wish they were more well-loved as they have a lot of traits, as you say, that are most beneficial. :-)

Gardeners' World Web User 30/05/2008 at 15:52

Sorry guys I disagree. I like my lawn to be immaculate like a well manicured fairway at an exclusive golf course!

Gardeners' World Web User 30/05/2008 at 22:17

A multi headed Dandelion as grown in my garden rockery and I have decided to leave it there - it looks great and besides I use the leaves in a salad sometimes.

Gardeners' World Web User 31/05/2008 at 08:26

I agree - along with buttercups and daisies were the first flowers to make an impact on me as a child and still like them.

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