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

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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

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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

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sometimes very small

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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

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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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