Loaded up a 2 and-a-half gallon spray container, walked across the street, and blasted the dandelions lined up like soldiers on the frontlines of a quiet but aggravating and desperate battle.
She used a flame-thrower and scorched the park across from her home. Sorry, picnickers. Spread a blanket over the dirt.
I’m mad at the city of Boise. They neglected their spraying regimen, or forgot to pay for chemicals, or foolishly assumed the malevolent marauders wouldn’t arrive this spring.
Oh, but they’re here. En masse. Every morning I walk to work I pass by them. I grit my teeth and walk past them, knowing that in a few days, they’ll blossom, then fade, and their devilish offspring will cross the road and create a new colony in my front yard.
Am I to face a new scourge every spring? Last spring and summer I waged a battle against the voles. My back yard became an ankle-sprain mess of eight-foot trenches and mounds of dirt created by me in an attempt to drive the varmints off my property. I succeeded.
Okay, I’m back. I just walked around the house knocking on all the real wood I could find. Realizing that it’s always going to be premature to believe my yard is free of voles leaves me with tremendous unease when spring arrives.
But back to the dandelions. When I lived in Minnesota, I’d pass by fields and yards full of dandelions and chirp, “Ooh, how pretty!” You can throw compliments to Mother Nature like that around when you live in an apartment. Now I have a house with a front and back yard. And dandelions are no longer pretty. Their jaggedy leaves might just as well be the chainsaw carried by Leatherface.
My mother likes to tell me that dandelion salad is delicious. I cannot bring myself to dig up dandelions, strip off the leaves and bring them into my home. I’d rather invite Ed Gein to dine with me.
When my sister was on vacation in Texas for two weeks, I spent more time in her front yard than I did in my own. Dandelions had made a home among the tulips and daffodils there. I was convinced that they were on the march to take root in my lovely yard. Before my sister left, she instructed me to place mothballs in the tulips to keep the rabbits at bay. Dandelion destruction took precedence over that silly task. By the end of a week, I had dug up most of her front lawn and rabbits had decimated her tulips. They’ll be doing a vast amount of replanting this spring, but, hey, a fresh start is invigorating!
I’ve walked past homes in this neighborhood whose front lawns are overrun by weeds, all manner of weeds, including dandelions. And I wonder how much medication I’d require to fully tranquilize my hatred of these intruders and allow me to pass by them each morning unaware or blissfully unmindful.
There is a principle of graphic design, called similarity, which means that like things are perceived as the same. When you place a dissimilar thing among them, you get contrast. And the eye notices the thing that is different. So is a yard full of dandelions the answer?
Not for me. I’m off to get the spray and a shovel.
Go on over and visit Follow the Piper. She tries to make people feel more kindly toward dandelions. I praise her broad-mindedness and charity.
And here’s a recipe for dandelion salad. The author tells us to pick the leaves while they’re young and tender. Please don’t try to soften me up by telling me that dandelions can be tender.
How about some dandelion wine? Drink enough of it and neither dandelions nor voles nor a herd of bison hanging out in your front lawn will stress you out.