Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Backyard Green Hours are Just Dandy

I don’t know about you, but our family has certainly been enjoying all of the signs of spring that have been popping up all over our yard.  In particular, DANDELIONS!  Though he’s a fan of all flowers, Cragbaby seems to have developed a special affinity for these yellow beauties that most of us would cast aside as weeds.  Morning after morning C delightedly runs through the yard exclaiming, “Yeh-ya fwah-fwah”  (yellow flower).  Being the sweet and charming boy that he is (hopefully he’ll stay this way!), the majority of flowers he picks all end up lovingly smashed into his Mommy’s outstretched hands.  At first I tried to preserve the thoughtful moment by taking them inside and putting them in a vase, but it didn’t work out to well since C’s picking strategy usually involves plucking the flower only, leaving only a hint of a stem with which to form a bouquet. 

But as much as he loves those tiny little dots of sunshine, his favorite part about dandelions is not the actual flower, but the seed head.  Those delicate little puff balls can provide hours of entertainment for both Cragbaby as well as his Mommy.  He tries his best to scatter all the seeds, his little mouth shaped into an imperfect “O,” but eventually resorts to pulling them off by hand. 

What I find ironic is that these same little weeds that C finds so fascinating would be dismissed as an annoying eye-sore to most.  No adult that I’ve ever met is thrilled about having dandelions dotting their perfectly manicured lawn.  But lucky for C (although maybe not our neighbors), landscaping has never really been our “thing,” so he can putz around and enjoy his weed garden as often as he’d like. 

As a side note, I looked up some info about dandelions and found out that they actually can be quite beneficial in some circles.  Apparently the dandelion is a good companion plant for gardeners, as it taproot brings vital nutrients closer to the surface, making them more available for shallow-rooted plants.  Dandelion is one of the ingredients in root beer, and also has mild anti-inflammatory properties. 

So the next time you’re tempted to steamroll over the latest carpet of bright yellow weeds in your backyard, take some time to appreciate their unique beauty.  Dandelions might not be one of God’s finest creations, but as far as Cragbaby’s concerned they are definitely worth keeping around!  Does anyone else’s toddler have a love for some of the more unappreciated aspects of natural beauty?

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4 Responses to “Backyard Green Hours are Just Dandy”

  1. Liz

    Happy to see some weed love on your blog! Dandelion greens are also super nutritious to eat. Emeril Lagasse, for one, fixes them several different ways. One recipe: http://video.planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/emeril-sauteed-danilion-greens.html

    Reply

  2. Megan

    C’s cousin was introduced to dandelion’s just the other day! He had a hard time blowing them off, as well, and called them bubbles when I blew them off for him.

    Reply

    • Liz – Thanks for the recipe, we’ll have to give it a try one day!

      Megan – I could see the confusion with the bubbles :)

  3. So funny, I just took Gabinator back to Missouri for a week with his Grandparents which included four days in the Ozarks at a State Park where we went every year when I was growing up. The midwest is much further into spring than we are in Colorado, and Gabe was super excited to pick and play with all of the flowers growing everywhere.

    And then, on the second day, we noticed bumps on his wrists and arms. We thought maybe mosquito bites since he’d been outside so much. More bumps later, and we thought maybe it was something he ate? Maybe the airplane got a chemical on his car seat when it was in the baggage hold? Maybe the soap in his bath was irritating?

    When we got to the Park, he played outside for an hour, picking flowers for everybody and we showed him how we like the “smell” by holding them up to our faces and making big inhaling noises. And then, an hour later, his face swelled up.

    So, thank goodness for kids Benadryl, which brought everything back under control quickly. And we learned after a day or two that every time Gabe picked some of those pretty yellow dandelions, the hives would show back up on his hands and arms. :(

    Sad to be allergic to such a pretty thing. But, they aren’t as common back here in Colorado, so he won’t be as tempted I guess.

    Reply

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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN