For a few weeks each spring, I am the most hated person in my neighborhood.
In a sea of ultra green, manicured lawns emerges my own yard that is filled from end to end with defiant, yellow dandelions.
It drives my neighbors absolutely nuts.
I am always amazed at the brainwashing of large portions of the American population on a variety of issues. The purposeful application of copious amounts of chemicals on the grass just to get rid of a bright little flower is one of those issues. Our kids and pets are walking and playing on our yards, and yet nearly everyone I know is so committed to a solidly green yard, free of weeds.
It is the War on Dandelions, with the frontlines drawn in suburbia.
Imagine the horror. Invasion of the dandelions!
Since war was declared on the dandelion sometime in the twentieth century, this flower/weed/rebel has been practically banned from inhabiting yards.When I was a kid in the 1970s, dandelions were everywhere, a regular part of life that just existed without everyone melting down every time one appeared. Now, the dandelion has gone the way of TV antennas on every home. Some neighborhoods with homeowner associations, have gone as far as heavily fine anyone who does not keep their plot of land dandelion-less.
I have come to think of my own yard as a battlefield, with my battalion of dandelions returning each spring, ready to guard the perimeter of my yard from a chemical attack by a neighbor’s lawn service. Their blazing yellow helmets rise high above the grass, staring down any human carrying a spray bottle of Round-Up. Occasionally, one of my dandelion soldiers crosses into enemy territory, boldly growing in the lethal, lush lawn of my neighbor. It’s a brave move that usually ends tragically when the spy is removed quickly.
Neighborhood kids are invariably traitors to their parents. They are fascinated by all the dandelions in our yard. They make wishes as the pop off the heads of the yellow flowers. They pick bouquets for their moms, much to my delight. They blow away the fuzzy tops that come after the flower fades. I love to watch them play tag or kickball in the yard, knowing that those dandelions are on the frontlines of protecting them from hazardous materials found in yards across our community.
Dandelions are the Gift that Keeps on Giving
Contrary to popular belief, my field of gold is the healthiest yard in the neighborhood. I take pride in supplying bees with their first sip of nectar in the spring. I’m glad my dog and daughter can safely play in our yard without worrying about chemical residue on their shoes and clothes. Nearby wildlife benefits too, and for every bunny, possum, skunk, deer, raccoon, squirrel, or other critter that wanders into my yard, I know they won’t be hurt by a chemical cocktail. Plus, since I keep things organic around my house, I have a fresh supply of dandelion leaves that are perfect for salads. For centuries dandelions were revered for their health benefits, used as both food and medicine. I could be a supplier of dandelions for Whole Foods.
Free Your Yard This Spring.
Join the great Dandelion Resistance!
Stop waving a white flag of defeat and giving into peer pressure by covering your yard in toxicity. Instead, let your freak flag fly by resisting chemicals and letting the dandelions grow freely this spring. Stop worrying what the neighbors think. They’ll find something else to judge about you. Make the healthy move for your family, nature, even the neighbors who are mad at you and watch the dandelions flourish across your yard.
By letting weeds happen, maybe you can be the one who brokers a peace treaty in your neighborhood. End the War on the Dandelion, and allow our favorite weed to return home.