An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

January 23, 2009

I Hadn't The Heart

Today was the first day we had nice weather in several weeks. It nearly got to 60 and it was sunny and windless. I got some 1/2 price bulbs planted (Scilla 'Excelsior') and finally got around to taking the Christmas lights off of the shrubs. I cut back foliage, raked leaves, cut grasses down and generally enjoyed my tasks in solitude. However, when it came to pulling weeds I could not bring myself to pull the Dandelion*. It is the 23rd of January and after last week's low of 15, I am amazed anything is blooming, so the pretty little weed will stay - for now.

*My French teacher wife will tell you this was once known as Dentdelion (lion's tooth), but now goes by Pissenlit (pee in the bed) in France.


  1. You lucky duck! The only work I can do in the garden is labor thru a foot of icy-crusted snow to the birdfeeders. I envy you big time ;}

  2. That's a lucky dandelion growing in your yard-it'd be a goner in mine. I have no heart when it comes to these. Sorry. Why the name change in France? Because it stains?

  3. It was a nice day to be outside today Les. I strolled around the garden and was amazed and all the new bulb foliage popping up. Sorry but I'm with Tina on that Dandelion, lol.

  4. I would have liked to have been in the garden today. It was mild here too. Alas, I had to work. I don't blame you for leaving that bit of color this time of year!

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  6. I had to work from dawn to dusk yesterday, too, only seeing the sun as I traveled from one school to another for an afternoon rehearsal. I guess I shouldn't complain - given the rumblings re. the state budget, I may have PLENTY of time to spend in the garden come next fall. At any rate, I'm for calling dandelions wildflowers and leaving it at that, although I don't enjoy prying the seedlings out of every nook and cranny for the rest of the year! An acquaintance with too much time on her hands advocates spraying the seed heads with cheap hairspray to prevent the seeds from being distributed...draw your own conclusions on that.

  7. Larkspur,
    The winter weather here is tolerable more often than not, but if it was any colder I'd have to move.

    The name thing could be because of the color or for the fact the plant can be used as a diuretic, or maybe it is just vulgar fun.

    I was concernedlast week during the cold that so many of my bulbs were emerging, but they seemed to have come through unscathed.

    I heard it was supposed to rain on Sat. and thought it would be better to get these over due tasks done on Friday.

    I certainly hope that the budget axe does not fall so hard that we cut teachers, there must be another way. I would even be willing to raise the sales tax another cent, but I know how well that wouldn't go over in Richmond. If I EVER have as much time in the garden as your acquaintance, I'll find another hobby.

  8. I have a personal weakness for pokeweed, and always feel a little guilty pulling it up. By all measures, Homo sapiens is the ultimate weed species. Seems a bit hypocritical to me to be overzealous about a few dandelions. Enjoy 'em, I say. After all, where would we be if we got uprooted everywhere we showed up?

  9. I guess the old adage is true, a weed is just a plant in the wrong place, and in your case, timing is everything.

  10. I would keep the weed too. In fact, I have a fair tolerance for dandelions anyway. They are pretty--and useful if you like the taste of dandelion greens.

    Robin Wedewer

  11. Wow! Is that really a weed? I can't believe it! Looks charming.

  12. Loved the dandy dandelion. I think we're going to have an early spring! I bet the Red Bud trees bloom with the Dogwoods

  13. Bien sur! Dentdelion -- teeth of the lion! I'm glad you didn't pull it out, and any early-blooming insect might be glad as well. I'm jealous that you have anything in bloom in January--those blogs from OR and CA and SC are really getting to me.

  14. In this picture Les, the dandelion does not look like a weed but rather a beautiful yellow flower! In the spring when I start to pull them I always feel like a bad person for taking away such a pretty little flower…

  15. Thise plant is one that we dont want in our garden.
    We have millions of them in Sweden.
    Here in Sweden we called it Wormrose.

  16. Michael,
    When I had the good fortune to visit Kew Gardens in London, I was shocked to find pokeweed growing in a garden bed - on purpose.

    Amen to that.

    Dandelion wine is fine too.

    I sure hope you are right, but not that we have an early summer too.

    If those blogs bother you, there are plenty of people posting snow and ice.

    Those were my sentiments when I took the picture.

    This plant was brought here by European colonists along with lots of other plants. I can understand people wanting to grow things they are familiar with. It is not the only non-native plant that has gotten out of control.


  17. 60?! I was thinking it was warm today when it hit freezing. I haven’t seen leaves (under the snow) in weeks.

    I have to admit to having a soft spot for dandelions if not the ugly stalks they leave behind. Yours are very cheerful, especially in January. I wonder if roses were as hearty as dandelions, would we weed them out too?

  18. Sarah,
    Thanks for stopping by. I don't obsess about dandelions in the lawn, as I have no lawn to obsess about.

  19. I don't ever remove the dandelions in my yard. They're the least of my worries - with florida betony and dollar weed in abundance. I spent HOURS today pulling up florida betony. I should just cave in, let the stuff grow - and start pickling it, and see it to tourists.