Make a wish..

 “if dandelions were difficult to grow we would all want them.”(the biking gardener)


To day we are going to celebrate the

*****Dandelion*****

This year the Dandelion seems to be doing rather well, have you noticed  them more? 




When I decided on this post I had a little look round the web to see what I could find, turns out this is a very special flower, and found out a few new things on the way.

******************************
The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.

The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening to go to sleep.

Every part of the dandelion is useful: root, leaves, flower. It can be used for food, medicine and dye for colouring.

Up until the 1800s people would pull grass out of their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful “weeds” like chickweed, and chamomile.

Common Chickweed
The average person  recognizes thousands of logos for commercial products, yet recognizes fewer than five plants that grow in his/her area. Dandelions are most likely one of those familiar plants.

(link)
The name dandelion is taken from the French word “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves.



Dandelions have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant.







A not so fun fact: Every year we spend millions on lawn pesticides to have uniform lawns of non-native grasses, and we use a lot of the country’s water supply to keep them green.



**********************
For the gardener 


Some weeds act as trap crops, distracting pests away from valued plants. Insects seeking a food plant search by smell, and then land at random on anything green in the area of the scent. If they land on an edible "weed", they will stay there instead of going on to the intended victim. Sometimes, they actively prefer the trap crop.(link)

 Nutrient Accumulator: Dandelion’s deep roots accumulate potassium, phosphorus, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and silicon while loosening the soil.
Beneficial insects: Dandelion attracts ladybugs and pollinators looking for nectar. It also attracts parasitoid wasps and lacewings.(link)

*******************
Nature


Dandelions are a vitally important element of the diets of many flying and ground insects. Many types of bee and wasp, including the honeybee, and bumblebee  use dandelions as a food source. Other insects that eat dandelions include grasshoppers, mites, flies, hover fly, butterflies, and as I have found out to day Slugs like a good munch too.

& spot Ladybird and Hover fly
Small white
Spider
Bees and Bumble bees
Peacock
Dandelions are also important plants for northern hemisphere bees, providing an important source of nectar and pollen early in the season. Dandelions are used as food plants by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths).  They are also used as a source of nectar by the pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne), one of the earliest emerging butterflies in the spring.

Go here to read more

**********************************

Now "make a wish" and spread those seeds.






Comments

  1. I love dandies! I can't understand why people get so worked up about the odd "weed" in the garden. I saw some house sparrows eating the dandelion petals in the garden last week - never seen that before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Louise, well they are full of goodness, the Sparrows like to nibble the fresh leaves on the buddleia tree in my garden, not actually eating them, but must be crushing them with their beaks and getting some sap out of them..!
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  2. Fascinating post Amanda full of interesting facts and beautifully illustrated as always with your superb photos. Dandelions are actually one of my favourite flowers and I always let them grow on our lawn (along with daisies & buttercups), though I didn't know just how useful a plant that they are. I used to pick the leaves for my aunt whom kept rabbits when I was a lot younger but maybe I should start picking them for myself !

    Hope you and your family are well and kindest regards :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks David, have discovered a lot about the Dandelion doing this post, looks like we all should be eating these plants more, supper food and they are free..
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  3. Such a wonderful celebration of dandelions!!! I always though the French/dandelion thing referred to the flower looking like a lions mane for some reason, no idea where I got that from. The tooth thing is obvious so where I got the mane thing from I have no idea!! I love that there is such beauty to be found in something so commonplace! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy, I too had thought the yellow of the flower was like the lions main and that's how it got it's name, never thought of the leaf looking like teeth.
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  4. Fab, love it..........I am already a fan of the dandelion but found the nutritional benefits so interesting. I have eaten the petals on salads and often put them with my dogs food. A herbalist friend recommended this........

    I love the fact you mention lawns. The land here is ancient pasture .......I love to see wildflowers appear in the grass including fairy flax. self heal, dandelions, buttercup etc, so beneficial to wildlife. Wouldn't it be great if everyone did this Amanda?

    Wonderful post Amanda............

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cheryl , they have been and cut all the grass verges out side the house to day, so the dandelion got the chop, they will all be back up and flowering in a week, such a hardy plant. The ones growing out of my drive have survived and will be staying there now I know more about them and what a wonderful job they do.
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  5. Super post Amanda, great photos as usual. I must admit I'm not very good at identifying wildlflowers but I'm making an effort to change that. Most people detest weeds but I think they're pretty and contrast rather well against the green of the grass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ian, glad you are taking a closer look at flowers, you will discover more every time you look..
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  6. A wonderful post Amanda with your usual lovely photos. Found it really interesting - love the bit about the sun, moon and stars :) Am a big fan of dandelions and always leave them be in the garden. And yes, I agree, it does seem to have been a good year for them. I always remember my father at this time of the year as he used to make the most delicious Dandelion Wine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks RR, the bit about the sun, moon and stars is my favourite bit, how cute is that..not sue about making wine but fancy a go at dandelion and burdock..
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  7. What a wonderful, refreshing post! Occasionally, I add a few Dandelion leaves to my salad. Of course, there are always a few here and there cropping up in my potager garden, so I harvest them, wash them, and mix them in lightly with the other greens. We don't treat our lawn with chemicals, so even the ones in the lawn would be safe to eat (after washing). They're a bit strong on their own, but just a few add a peppery flavor to the salads. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks PP, glad you make the most of them, from your own garden you will know they are safe to eat..
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  8. Beautiful photos and lots of fascinating info again. I have mixed views about dandelions. I like the flowers and clocks but am not so keen on the look of the seed head. I was looking at lots of them on the verge as I crawled through the traffic tonight and the seed head reminded me of the evil plant in Little Shop of Horrors! I wouldn't waste time trying to rid my lawn of them though - that's just a losing battle and I love how much the butterflies love them. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie, just remember to look at them and think of the sun, moon and stars, blow the stars into the sky and make a wish..
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  9. What a beautifully researched piece Amanda - lots of facts in there that I didn't know - always willing to learn new things. Yes, there does seem to be an abundance of them this year - I love seeing them covering the roadside verges - such a cheerful sight. A while ago I read Ray Bradbury's memoir called Dandelion Wine - his grandfather used to cultivate dandelions especially for making wine - I bet it was a lovely colour - wonder what it tasted like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elaine , I wonder if it tastes to much like pop, very drinkable ! Would be nice sat out on a warm evening.
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  10. A great post, really well researched. You almost made me want to stop waging war on them. After all a lawn yellow with dandelions is a pretty sight. But they don' t stay on the lawn, they want to take over the garden. By the way, the French rather indelicately call them ' Pissenlit' in reference to the fact that they have diuretic qualities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chloris, I did read about what the french word was, not a great word, there was so much written about the Dandelion it was quite hard to narrow it down, I have a new found love for this flower.
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  11. I love dandelions too. Round here for a brief period all the fields turn golden with the flowers. I can't say as the leaves appeal to me, but I think they need to be blanched, which I've never tried. My neighbours collect the flower heads and make a kind of runny jam from them. I don't like them in my flower beds but they are welcome in my lawn and wild places. Lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mandy, fresh spring leaves seem to be the best one to pick, and just the odd one mixed in with the rest of the salad leaves, first time I've heard of jam, will have a look at this.
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  12. Wonderful post and information... We let the dandelions grow in our yard, we want to keep the bees happy.. have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eileen, have now let mine grow in the drive now, would normally pull them up..
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  13. This is so informative. Our fields are full of them, in full flower at the moment...... like a bright yellow carpet!
    Jacqui x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jacqui, you are right, lovely splash of yellow...
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  14. Interesting info about the dandelion.

    I always think they are a cheery bloom and I always enjoyed making a wish.

    I've never tried dandelion wine although many like it!

    Enjoyed reading this post

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jan, I've made a few extra wishes this week, spreading as many seeds as possible :)
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  15. Very interesting post and great photos. That's lovely about the sun, moon and stars. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deb, that has to be the most cutest thing I have learned this month..about the sun, moon and stars...
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  16. What a fascinating post, thank you for sharing all that with us. I have to say I adore the colour and shape of dandelions but they have wreaked havoc in my garden! I like the look of them in a jug (although they never last well when picked) but not so much on the lawn. But knowing how interesting and beneficial they are makes me feel better about their presence. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gillian, have enjoyed watching you move into your new home, we are of to Otley show on Saturday so will think of you far away :) Thanks for the kind comments glad you like the Dandelion post.
      Amanda xx

      Delete
    2. Hi Gillian, have enjoyed watching you move into your new home, we are of to Otley show on Saturday so will think of you far away :) Thanks for the kind comments glad you like the Dandelion post.
      Amanda xx

      Delete

Post a Comment