Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fields of Gold: Why I love dandelions and you should too.

Yesterday, I took Monty for a long walk along a local bike trail.  It is one of our favourite spots -- near where he grew up as a puppy and the path he used to walk every day.  He never fails to be enthralled by it, as though it has changed dramatically since the last time we were there.

We start out playing ball.  I throw the ball, he runs as hard as he can towards it and runs right past it.  Circling back, he picks it out of the tall grass and comes back to me at a dead run.  He usually drops the ball long before coming to me, but he figures as long as he comes to me it is close enough.  Soon, he tires of playing ball and instead -- with his nose to the ground -- searches both sides of the path for objects or animals unknown.

While he is exploring the previously conquered, I wander the path and take a look around.  It is a peaceful time as I usually try and go when no one else will be around.  It makes it so we can walk with Monty off leash and not worry about him chasing people on Rollerblades or skateboards.  He sure hates those skateboards.

This time, I notice how beautiful the park looks.  The grass is long and waves in the wind.  The trees are budding and plants are starting to push through the earth that has been holding them hostage by the terrible winter.  And the entire expanse of the land is covered in golden flowers of dandelions.

Cheerful and maintenance free.
I know that every gardener and lawn enthusiast hates dandelions.  They grow with abandon, are rarely tamed, spread like wildfire with the merest whisper of wind, and grow roots the size of a small Volkswagen.  However, I think these are the reasons we should love them.  They make the yards beautiful -- colourful and cheerful.  They grow despite the number of times we hack at them, poison them, pull them.  They grow and grow and grow.  They are strong and soft and lovely.

I look at our manicured lawns and I am disheartened.  We try and keep things so tidy, so clipped, so smothered.  We take grass which is not native to our province and force it where it does not belong.  In a desperate attempt to control our environment, we fight with nature.  We consider ourselves above what the earth has in mind. 

And yet, the dandelions keep growing.  They come where they are not wanted and make the world a brighter place.  I, for one, love them for that.  The Guy, for another, is glad he's in charge of the yard.


  1. I loved those walks along that bike path with the two puppies. Who are almost 5 years old.

  2. Personally, I've always loved dandelions. They're pretty, I can't kill them like I do every other plant, and they taste good in salads. I'm with you!


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