Consider the Humble Dandelion

We are slowly trying to maintain and expand a new flower border for perennials and herbaceous plants interspaced with some annuals. This month we noticed a flower we had not invited


We were about to attack when we heard a voice:

“Hello, you might call me a weed but I’m a friend and have come to help you. I’m the only one who wants and can grow here because:

  • Either the soil is too compact and I want to loosen it for you with my roots.
  • Or there is too little calcium in the soil – don’t worry, I will replenish that for you with the dying of my leaves.
  • Or the soil is too acidic, but I will also improve that for you if you give me the chance.”

So had a think… and thought that if we had grown these flowers from seed and cossetted the plants to produce blooms like this


we would be very pleased. The voice reinforced this view with a slightly threatening:

“I’m here because your soil needs my help so best you let me grow without disturbing me! When everything is fixed, I will disappear again, I promise!
Are you trying to remove me prematurely with my root? However meticulous you are, I will return twice as strong! Just until your soil is improved.”

We had noticed that the blooms had many visitors


sometimes very small


The voice explained:

“My flowers are the first food for insects after hibernation and unlike most other plants, I have pollen and nectar, not merely one or the other! And I am generous with them!”

We did know of the culinary possibilities


The voice elucidated:

“My flowers are even delicious for you people by the way, did you know? I used to be called ′′honey (or gold) of the poor′′ because my flowers are so sweet in jam, sauce or salad!”

So we decided to just enjoy


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