My 15 year old mowed the front yard yesterday. If you know me very well you know that I am an organic gardener. I have never used chemical fertilizers, pesticides or weed killers on my lawn. This leaves quite an eclectic verdure which we loosely refer to as our lawn.
Returning from an errand this morning, I greeted my kitties and looked at the spring beauty in and around my yard. My bleeding hearts are huge! Four and a half feet tall and across, they are quite ambitious and showy this year. At the far left side of my front flower bed is my beloved hibiscus. Although I don't have much good to say about Florida and my years there (except the wonderful friends I made while living there) I have the fondest of memories of the hibiscus bushes on the side of my house in Miami. They were nearly 10 feet tall and bloomed constantly almost all year long.
Up here in the temperate northeast we cannot grow the tropical hibiscus of my youth. Instead we have these perennial shrubs that do bloom all summer long and but then go to sleep in the fall. My hibiscus shrub is leafing out once again and promising that little bit of sentimentality that favorite plants can arouse in us.
And then we go back to the lawn. It is not a beautiful lawn. It is eclectic! This is a nice way of saying that it has more weeds than grass. Some of those weeds do not make me happy. But there is one weed that always makes me happy: the dandelion. Dandelions are not only cheerful, they are a source of amusement for children everywhere. After joyfully shining for a day or so, they go to seed and up pops this perfectly symmetrical puff ball that just begs to be blown upon.
When I see dandelions in my yard I think of all of the money I have spent on perennials, the hard work on transplanting brown-eyed susans, evening primrose, and irises of all types. Most of my store-bought perennials have not survived years of chickens, hard freezes, napping kitties, and my boys.
But every year up pop those friendly, tough and abundant dandelions. They are looked down upon by snooty yard people, elitist gardeners, and most everyone. But I know they are just country folk. They never make a fuss! And I don't fuss over them. I enjoy the dandelions in my yard. The make me happy.