Thursday, May 14, 2009


When I was little, I loved dandelions. I loved thair bright yellow flowers, and most of all I loved their puffy seed-head clocks. We had a book about a fairy who would tell the time by blowing the seeds off the dandelion clock. The number of puffs it took to blow them all away was the time that it was. We'd get so excited to find a ripe, fluffy clock in the garden. I never really understood why my Mum would get so steaming mad somewhat frustrated when she found us happily sending millions of dandelion seeds floating across her garden. After all, who wouldn't want more dandelions?

Then again, this book did also contain stories of a little elf man who smoked pipes made of acorns and twigs, so clearly the book wasn't titled "stories to positively influence your child" and she should have been glad we didn't all take up smoking stuff we found in the garden instead.

Anyway, recently our grass has become overrun with dandelions, and now I truly appreciate how horrifying these festive weeds are. I prefer not to use chemicals on the lawn, which left me with the options of either attacking them with a blowtorch (dramatic, effective, dangerous, probably would set the grass on fire) or digging them up (monotonous, backbreaking, equally effective). I went with the digging them up option, and have been spending much of my spare time tacking this task. 

I recently aquired this tool to assist in the matter:

This part is attached to the end of a long handle, which you drive deep down into the core of the dandelion, then use to sever the life-giving root...

Then, you're able to pull up the entire dandelion, leaving the lawn intact.

It works really, really well, and I am super happy to have it. In the last week I have been pulling up a few here and there, but today I decided I needed to get serious. I had to get them all up before they all went to seed, and some of them had already started to turn into clocks. The pressure was on. And it was no easy task... the back yard was pretty bad, but the front looked like this:

I've been digging on and off all day. Every so often I'd hear a sad little squeak and think I'd stabbed a mouse or something, but it was only the dandelion crying. I became obsessed with hitting just the right point to get the whole top and maximum amount of root. I started taking pleasure in the almost imperceptible 'crack' as the root was severed just right, much, I imagine, as a serial killer would when his job goes "just right". After Fiona went to bed I went back out, and dug some more. I dug dandelions until it was too dark to see them, and when I closed my eyes, all I could see were dandelion starbursts taunting me. 

I'm nearly done. I'm going to get some rest and get back to it tomorrow. I WILL NOT let them beat me.

And Mum... I'm really sorry!


Cathy said...

We are in the same boat with our yard. I hate that we have SO MANY FREAKIN' dandelions. For some reason grass refuses to grown and really it is either dirt or dandelions. Doesn't it make it worse knowing there were no dandelions before the settlers came? I need to borrow the tool. Ours are turning to clocks though.

Louise said...

Luckily for us, our yard is about 1/10 the size of yours, otherwise I'd probably just get over it and go all dandelions. You have to pick your battles ;-)

Lori said...

Only you could compare the pleasurable task of "killing" dandelions to the emotions a "cereal" killer might have with each victim. When is your first book coming out? I will wait in line with Cathy to get that signed!

Louise said...

Lori, I'd let you skip to the front ;-)

Lori said...

You are the BEST!

C. L. Hanson said...

Dandelion greens are great in salad. So at the end of your hunt, you can eat your kill! :D