In recognition of yet-another-local-lockdown due to the ongoing pandemic, I'm doing a week of feature blog posts about living in the backyard. From May 10th through 16th, my posts will be themed around life outdoors but as close to home as possible, a few steps out the back door.
It’s Travel Tuesday, and even tho I cannot go anywhere I have been plunging plugs of soil from the yard as I deal with some visitors from Europe who have overstayed their welcome.
Dandelions: the two most commonplace species worldwide, T. officinale (the common dandelion) and T. erythrospermum (the red-seeded dandelion), were introduced into North America from Europe and now propagate as wildflowers. – Wikipedia
This photo is one that I took last year in the park near my house. A couple thousand square meters of little yellow flowers that blossom for a few days before turning into countless white puffballs.
Millions of yellow flowers cover the parks of my city starting in mid-May each year, and it is only with an epic diligence plucking, pulling, or even poisoning the colourful weeds that my yard does not look like a dandelion explosion.
There is an eternal tug-o-war between the naturalization of green spaces including the small parcel of land over which I steward, also known as my yard, and the tending of those spaces into manicured single-species carpets called lawns. We work, spend, and bicker over the fate of these little flowers that appear for at most a couple weeks each year.
Locals despise them, pick them, and chide each other for letting them grow too amply.
For many reasons we favour grasses, green and soft, mowed to an even trim.
And even if I did not, if I instead chose to let my property return to the natural state of mixed natural flora, local bylaws would trample on my eco-crusade and issue me a ticket in the name of neighbourly harmony.
So I pluck dandelions from among the blades of grass, knowing that one visiting species, grass, is in a constant battle against a different sort of traveler, the aggressive yellow dandelion.
It is a fight against a flower in an epic struggle for a so-called perfect lawn.
Sometimes I really am just tempted to dig it all up and grow potatoes.