One of my favorite sights of early spring is dandelions. Sure, they're weeds, but I find them to be a delightful thing (provided they remain outside of the garden!) Whenever I see the new smatterings of dandelions across lawns and hills, I like to think of them as embroidered French knots, lovingly stitched with cheerful yellow thread. These hopeful and persistent little flowers have a surprising number of uses. I'll discuss a few in this post...
This year, I really went all out, and made my first ever flower crown of dandelions. It turned out a bit wonky, but not bad for a first try I think. ;) Check out this diagram for a step-by-step of how to make dandelion garland. (Simply weave the ends together to make it a crown.)
Aside from their cheery aesthetic qualities, dandelions have a number of other uses. The petals and leaves are edible and would make a creative addition to any spring salad. The greens are a bit on the bitter side, so you might want to balance that out with a milder tasting lettuce, like iceberg. Important note: don't harvest any greens from your lawn if it has been treated with pesticides or the like. Our lawn is weed-ridden and completely organic, so we figure it's safe. Haha!
Here's a fun story... One spring when I was little, I created my own backyard cafe called Frisbee's. The food was served on - you guessed it - frisbees. This "food" was completely foraged from the yard and included dandelions, clover and chives. (Because it was spring, there wasn't any significant garden produce yet.) Drink glasses were filled with water fresh from the garden hose! The menu was drawn neatly on the sidewalk with chalk, and I roped off the patio chairs with a jump rope give the restaurant a more exclusive feel. Clearly even back then, I strove to make things fancy and "kick it up a notch." My mom and dad tolerated this restaurateur phase marvelously well, though I'm sure they were relieved when I became interested in real cooking and baking. :)
Spirits and Sweet Spreads
When it comes to the flowers, you can make dandelion wine and dandelion jelly. (The latter is at the top of my to-do list. I've made violet and rose jelly in the past, but I would very much like to try dandelion.)
As can be seen, these common weeds are actually quite useful.. once you get to know them!
Just one more quote before I sign off. This one is from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, and I think is a fitting sentiment for our current times.
What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.
Stay busy and hang in there!
Thank you for stopping by,