Dandelion is by far the most famous weed flower in our temperate climates.
It can be appreciated all season long from March to November, but, it must be said, April is when dandelion is most beautiful.
Who hasn’t yet seen the fairy-like show of pastures or gardens sprinkled with thousands of blooming dandelions?
Who, as a mom or dad, hasn’t yet received as a gift from a child a bouquet of lovingly picked dandelions on mother’s day or father’s day?
Let us contemplate these bright yellow flowers for a second, like our little friends the bees do when they leave their hive after many long winter months.
Reproduction of dandelion
Dandelion is sown naturally by the wind. Sometimes this renders perfectionist gardeners quite desperate, but let us give these marvelous fragrant bouquets a week or two to bloom!
When the April blooming is over, it will be easy to cut them back with a run of the hoe along the surface of the soil, and it won’t endanger the following spring’s blooming.
Dandelion are among the first spring flowers that help bees get off to a good start.
Dandelion can bring joy to your table as well
Early in the season, local markets offer dandelion leaves for sale, to spice up our mixed salads.
Collect dandelion leaves in the lawn of gardens early March. After this date they grow too bitter to have any further appeal.
Sometimes you’ll need to take time roaming around to find the freshest ones. Indeed, they must be picked on the day they unfurled or the next.
- First of all, cut them off where they connect to the root
- Then, rinse the leaves thoroughly in tap water.
- Toss them in a salad together with shallot, small cubes of cheddar or Comté cheese and a very mild salad dressing.
Dandelion jelly, delicious and original
Dandelion “jelly” will even endear the taste buds of children on breakfast toast.
A far cry from yet becoming fast friends, at least you’ll feel that the dandelions are paying their fair share of rent for the land they occupy!
Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Hazy dandelions by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work