Five Ways to Combat Your Fear of the Demon Weed

No, not that kind of weed.

Get your mind out of the gutter!!! Anyway, it’s (still) illegal.

What I was actually referring to is the kind that pops up in yards and gardens all over the place at this time of year, striking fear and loathing into the hearts of gardeners everywhere.

An example: the dreaded and much-maligned dandelion.

Now, my thumb is not green but black – must be all that tar in the smokes. All this to say, I have no clue about gardening. But I do think that dandelions are quite pretty:

See? What’s wrong with them? They’re bright and cheery. And they’re free, and they don’t take any work to maintain. So what’s the big deal?

Still not convinced? Well, maybe my five tips on combatting the affliction of weed hatred will convince you.

1. Start eating the leaves.

Yes, you can eat dandelion greens. My great grandmother did it for years – and she even drank the water they were boiled in (the appearance of which any smoker who has tried that time honoured quit smoking tip “empty your ashtray into a jar, fill with water, let marinate one week then keep bringing it out and looking at it when you’re jonesing for a smoke” will recognise). And, she lived to be 107! (well, I exaggerate a bit. But she was very old when she died).

I’ve also seen dandelion greens at the supermarket in certain ethnic neighbourhoods from time to time Even some of the top chefs have picked up on this dandelion trick and are serving dandelion salad. So, if they can serve it, so can you, right?

As for prep tips, don’t ask me. I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole. But, as they are extremely healthy, you really should try some yourselves. I’m thinking about your best interests here.

2. Look for comparisons between other “real” plants that you have to pay for and tend.

If you do this, it may well be that you will stop seeing the necessity of shelling out your hard-earned bucks at the flower centre. Here’s an example:

I mean, do you see any difference, really? If anything, the dandelions are nicer looking because they don’t have those big ugly fuzzy brown spots in the middle!

3. Hunt down artistic depictions of the weed.

And yes, people do honour dread weeds such as the dandelion in art. Here are two examples.

This piece by Ann Beckley is called “Dandelion Lace:

Don’t you love the dandelion etching on the side?

And this piece is Myrna Oostrom is simply called “Dandelions”

Wow. I wish I could paint like that.

Anyway, works of art like these are important in that they help to remove the stigma of weed-dom.

4. Make a pros and cons list.

I have a deep dark secret to confess: I am a huge fan of pros and cons lists. Having said that, I’m not going to list the “cons” of letting weeds flourish here because you already know all of those. Here are some pros:

  • You don’t have to break your back any more doing all that weeding.
  • You can save all that money you spend every year on plants which end up dying half the time anyway when there is some freak snowstorm in June.
  • Got any neighbours you can’t stand? Letting your yard grow over with wees provided great fodder to piss them off.
  • Alternatively, having problems coming up with social chit chat with the neighbours? Let your yard grow over with weeds, then you can casually ask them how they cope with weeds in their yard. I imagine that this is good for hours of pleasantries.
  • You will have lots of extra time for fun things… such as knitting, for example.

Which leads us to the fifth and final tip…

5. Check out yarn inspirations.

There are even knitting yarns named after weeds. And let me tell you, fondling a skein of Handmaiden Dandelion sea silk could probably change your mind about a whole lot of things:

For some reason, I haven’t quite managed to get my hot little mitts on any of this glorious stuff yet. But, after all, it is PayDay tomorrow!

Here’s a little challenge for you. Below is a photo of more Handmaiden colourways.

Tell me which one is named after a (sort of) weed – and provide the name. I’ll post the link to the answers here tomorrow. Hint – each colourway has one word in the name only.

See, weeds can be fun. Go forth and let them multiply, I exhort you!

Happy Weednesday Wednesday!


15 thoughts on “Five Ways to Combat Your Fear of the Demon Weed

  1. clarabelle says:

    Gosh, I just tried to cheat as well, but I got distracted when I found a colourway called ‘Snagria’, a sort of reddy-purple colour that perhaps is supposed to represent that nasty stuff with zero alcohol level that you get plied with by reps when you go on package holidays.

    And I’m not sure what’s wrong with the weed that you alluded to at the beginning of your post, K? I mean, I never inhaled, obviously.

    That Dandelion Handmaiden sure is gorgeous though!

  2. brouhahahaha says:

    Quazeecat:I’ll remind you that they say “Cheaters never prosper.” (and who is this “They”, anyway?!?!) LOL

    Any: you and I should create another holiday/excuse for receiving gifts: Misunderstood Artists’ Day. (or, in other words, our day to go MAD).

    Clarabelle: re. the stuff that people never inhale… well, the movie poster says it all, no? Now frankly, I’ve never seen the point of not inhaling. However, I did try several years ago to get away with smoking (cigarettes) in the office on the premise that I was not inhaling, therefore not actually smoking, and the prohibition was against smoking, not lighting cigarettes. This didn’t get me very far, though.

    As for sangria: I’ve only had it once, not in Spain, and although I have slightly higher than zero liquor tolerance I’ve never been so sick in my life. Four of us split about 10 pitchers of the stuff on a patio in the direct sun in July. Served me right.

  3. elizabeth m says:

    I’ve been known to praise the dandelions too.

    Once our local paper had an article about eating them and one idea was to put the flower heads in pancakes. My husband tried it. I think he kind of liked the results but I didn’t taste any.

    The leaves get more bitter has the plants get older, so you really want to use the youngest ones for your salad.

    People who believe in natural cures for everything swear by dandelions as a detoxifier. I don’t put a lot of store in that, though. But your great grandma lived to 107, so who knows?

  4. helen (of troy) says:

    the leaves are only edible before the plant starts to flower.. (after, they are too bitter.)

    the flowers can be made into wine. (they have a lot of nectar, and its sweet and flavorful –dandelion wine is considered a delicacy.

    Watch Tampopo (the Japanese name of dandelions) a great, funny movie about a woman on a quest to make a great noodle soup and a bunch of wacky characters she meets on the way. it has sub titles, (and some version are dubbed) but its funny even with out them.

    Enjoy them as bright reminders of more sunny days to come!

  5. Helen says:

    Dandelion leaves have a very diuretic effect. When I was a child we called them ‘pee the beds’, and I think the French nickname for them ‘pissenlit’. I expect your great-grandmother knew this. I’ve never tested this theory myself 🙂

  6. brouhahahaha says:

    Helen of Troy and Helen: thanks so much for the information about dandelions… 🙂 I blog and I learn!!

    Amy: big time booty… we’ll be able to quit our jobs and blog and knit all day (not necessarily in that order), bah gawd!

  7. Sarah says:

    I am one of those that loves Dandelions. I’ve memories of my mom making Dandelion coffee, and picking the leaves for salad when I was a kid. (No worries about herbicides – we lived out in the country and it was the early 70s, so all was good on that account and they are surprisingly tasty!)

    As an adult, there was nothing sweeter than the kids bringing me home a bouqet of dandelions. “Look Mommy, I picked you flowers. Aren’t they pretty?”

    I am definately in the dandelions are your friend not your foe camp! 🙂

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