... in the dandelions

Published on 19 May 2021
Many dandelions

I visited a friend recently and we sat in her lovely garden to eat lunch and drink tea as the weather was good. We chatted about lots of things and she showed me her garden, which was still under development in some ways but coming along nicely.

She was bending over picking the heads of the dandelions and throwing the seedheads away. Later, she showed me a contraption to remove the dandelions with their roots - quite a fearsome looking claw-like device, but effective.

I asked why there were so many dandelions in that patch of lawn. 'Oh,' she replied, 'they have them in the neighbouring gardens, so the seeds blow over.'

It only then occurred to me to wonder why they were actually bothering to remove the seedheads of the dandelions growing in their own garden. Surely the seeds would blow over the hedge and plant themselves no matter how long they spent uprooting? Is this an example of the times in our lives when we needlessly struggle instead of accepting a given reality?

Is the only reason why we would get rid of the dandelions because we consider them weeds?  If we didn't consider them weeds, would that mean we could just let them grow, since that is what they are so good at? This would be a little like accepting a person's character traits, instead of trying to change them, even if you think they are flawed. It can be much easier to change our own attitudes than that of other people. In fact sometimes we might grow to like them, like the dandelions.

That goes against the general wisdom of generations of gardeners though. If allowed to grow unchecked, there would be no lawn, just dandelions, which wouldn't be very comfortable to sit on. That's the reason why sometimes we have to work on our flaws or other people's flaws and realise that they are preventing our growth or that of others.

In different situations either can be true: it depends where the dandelion is growing.