I’m So Funny

And I am unanimous in that opinion.

My mother in law lives next door and has the wonderful fortune of being able to look out upon the Sorta Suburbia gardens whenever and for however long she wants.  She rarely comments, but did make a point of mentioning how “terrible” the lawn looks with all the dandelions.  I had to agree.  There’s too much brash yellow, and I reassured her that it will look much better once the creeping Charlie spreads some more and adds a cooling wash of pale lavender to all the green.  She was not amused.

dandelion lawn

All the colors of spring

For as well as I grow the common dandelions, the other sorts have been remarkably troublesome.  I managed to kill the ones with a delicious purple tint to the foliage, and the pink ones never really took off.  Fortunately my seedlings of the white dandelion (Taraxacum albidum) are finally settling in.  This Japanese cousin of the golden dandelion appears to be much tastier than its common neighbors, and eventually I had to resort to caging it in order to keep the bunnies away long enough for it to establish.

taraxacum albidum

taraxacum albidum

While I consider how best to establish a patch of white dandelions in the lawn I’ll leave you with another weed.  When we first moved here I brought along a small wisteria which originally came as a cutting off my parent’s vine in NY.  After a few years in the veggie bed it moved again into the meadow garden and made a habit out of looking out of place for four years.  After losing its buds to late freezes for the third year in a row I took a saw to it.  Fortunately the roots suckered in the vegetable garden and being that I’m far to lazy to search them all out, I left one.  Its fragrance filled the yard yesterday evening, even stronger than the struggling (intentionally planted) lilacs.

wisteria tree

A wisteria twig… perhaps someday a tree… or maybe I should build a pergola here 🙂

So for all my efforts the best things in the garden right now are weeds.  Come visit and I can finally be the person who gets to say “Oh that old thing?  I should really just rip it up, it grows like a weed for me”.

34 comments on “I’m So Funny

  1. Christina says:

    I really did smile about the white dandelion! But I shouldn’t laugh, the leaves are widely eaten here and I have seen packets of seeds (YES, you read that correctly), packets of seed of the common dandelion.

    • bittster says:

      Haha! I bet you could find the same here, and I wouldn’t doubt someone out there has purchased a packet of dandelion seed not realizing it’s exactly what thrives in nearly every lawn and roadside, and probably peppers their own garden already!

  2. Pauline says:

    I used to have a pink dandelion, but eventually it died. Love the Wisteria, it is fabulous!

  3. rusty duck says:

    The wisteria is meant to be. But be careful with the posts for the pergola.. 😉

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I love your wisteria…but those dandelions. I don’t care what color they are they aren’t welcome here. They are too aggressive, and Creeping Charlie!!! Invasive weed. Kill kill kill. I don’t care if it has a cute little bloom. It will run over unsuspecting plants and smother them to death. No mercy I say.

    • bittster says:

      Ugh. I hate when the voice of reason speaks up.
      Deep down inside I realize the creeping Charlie is an insane pest, even if it does break up the dullness of the green lawn. btw there was none here when I moved in, I’m pretty sure a single sprig hitchhiked in with something I transplanted from the old garden.
      I’d put something down for it, but honestly I like some of the other weeds such as the patches of hawksweed and clover.

  5. Well, at least you know they’re weeds! Every year I get a couple of plants sprouting that I’m not really sure what they are or where they came from. I call them “wait and see” plants and my forbearance was rewarded with a non-variegated Jacob’s ladder last year. This year I think I may have some euphobia seedlings in an area where I’ve never planted a euphorbia. I’m gonna wait and see what it turns out to be.

    • bittster says:

      🙂 trust me I have plenty of “wait and see weeds” which either just came in or I planted on purpose.
      I also have a well-proven track record of adding plants which come with a warning that I’m just too stubborn or stupid to heed. Vinca, ribbon grass, violets, ajuga, bellflower, *gulp* -thistles….

  6. Stephen Shaw says:

    I vote Pergola.

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    I’ve never heard of a white dandelion. Leave it to you to be the one to grow it, Frank!
    I think flowers in my lawn are marvelous – right now there are a riot of blue, purple and white violets with a smattering of dandelions. 🙂 What would MIL say about that?

    • bittster says:

      My MIL would be disgusted!
      Believe it or not I’m almost considering ruthlessly going after the violets. After years of zero tolerance they still show up all over the place, and if I let them go I’m only admitting to failure. I did have a native one show up last year. Maybe that will be my alternative since I do like seeing the butterflies…

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Have you read Doug Tallamy’s book? It’ll change the way you look at natives and ‘weeds’ – it really opened my eyes to see the whole ecosystem. Not to mention meshing well with my ‘lazy’ gardening style. 😉

      • I love violets, of any color, in the lawn. My problem is that they’re intermingled with the dandelions, which I hate. 😦 So the only violet-safe dandelion control method is digging… probably for the rest of my natural life…!

      • Eliza Waters says:

        It is a garish yellow, but it is only for a short bloom time. I don’t mind them so much, but I am in love with the violets, for sure!

      • I don’t mind the color of the dandelion flowers, but the bazillion offspring they engender, well, that’s just too much of a good (or even acceptable) thing. 😉 Dandelion bloom time here starts in late April, goes through May and June, and I swear it’s off and on during July and August as well. 😦

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Dandelion wine, perhaps? 😉

  8. johnvic8 says:

    Is wisteria invasive there? It is terribly so here in NC. It is so beautiful in bloom; it’s disappointing that we can’t use it safely.

    • bittster says:

      Wisteria is only an aggressive thug around here, not quite invasive like it is down South. I bet it could still take down a house if you turned your back long enough, but fortunately our colder winters keep it from spreading throughout the neighborhood.

  9. You made my day — as your posts so often do! Ian Young’s blog for the Scottish Rock Garden Club features a massive dandelion that he has been nurturing for years. Dandelions are one of the first flowers that children pick to give to a parent and it’s important to be thrilled with such a present lest we kill their incipient interest in plants and gardens. My sister-in-law has one of my (adult) dandelion drawings proudly on display at her house. Plus if you use the French name it is a very romantic sounding plant. I admit I dig them out of the lawn but clearly I am conflicted.

    • bittster says:

      I think if dandelions were a little more difficult to grow they would get much more respect! I do remember plucking dandelions to bring to mom, and I remember how pleased she would be to find a tiny vase and proudly display the flowers on the windowsill 🙂
      I’ve seen Ian Young’s dandelion. It is a monster, but with deadheading it can easily pass as some new golden yellow gerbera!

  10. You are a wit, seriously. This is the first I have ever heard of white dandelion. It does look elegant compared to the common yellow. I have plenty of those, and they do trigger my weeding impulse when I see them in bloom, though there are always more to dig up.

    • bittster says:

      For as lovely as they are in the lawn, I was considering pulling a few. Those and all the creeping charlie plus clover are tipping the balance away from grass, more towards weeds!

  11. Indie says:

    Bwahaha! Too funny! I bought Dragon’s Blood Clover a few years ago. It really struggled that first year, and I thought it had died despite my pampering. Of course it came back and now likes to pop up in all sorts of places – especially in the lawn. Why have normal weeds when you can have interesting fancy pants ones?

    • bittster says:

      Dragon’s blood clover sounds extremely tempting! There were a few clovers and oxalis which I saw this winter and which I thought might be a nice upgrade to the average weeds which I have so many of. ‘fancy pants’ weeds sounds like an excellent idea 😉

  12. Chloris says:

    I grow a wisteria as a standard, this one looks as if it would like to go the same way. White dandelions? A new one on me. I spend my life at this time of the year digging out the yellow ones before they go to seed.

    • bittster says:

      I would spend more time pulling them out of the lawn, but I’m always considering adding new flower beds, and would feel mighty foolish spending all that time on tending a lawn which may soon become compost. Of course that describes many of my activities, so rather than let the whole garden go maybe I should pull a few.
      I did enjoy watching the sparrows pulling the seed heads apart for breakfast. There’s one other plus to living in weedy squalor!

  13. Oh thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for rescuing me from the despair of being in Dandelion Hell! Especially since my neighbors don’t seem to have any within spitting (wafting) distance, so I know all this propagation is coming from within the confines of my own property. The lawn guys didn’t cut last Thursday because the driveway was packed with Home Improvement Crew Vehicles, which means EVERY dandelion has been going ferociously to seed for 6 days. 😦 Btw, if you were to plant Crepis incana you’d have yellow, white, AND pink “dandelions”! 😉

    • bittster says:

      I will have to look for the pink dandelion! My previous attempt ended with a stalemate as it refused to grow and I refused to plant it until it did. To be honest the shallow pot was probably not a good choice for a taprooted perennial…
      My BIL next door had his dandelion infested lawn sprayed last summer and now I’m clearly the source of most wafting seed. It’s shameful, but I’ll try and carry on for the sake of others 😉

  14. White dandelions are certainly a new one for me, too. I wonder how I can get some seeds. That would really amaze dad when they started to flower. I wouldn’t tell him I bought seeds because he would really think I flipped. Great post!

    • bittster says:

      Thanks 🙂
      I’ll keep my eye out for seed and send them your way if they ripen. Right now the rabbits seek out this plant and nip off every bit they can. It must be particularly delicious.

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