To the editor;
Nothing — not grass nor chickweed — grows more profusely everywhere in the world than dandelions.
Moments after the last snow disappears, dandelion leaves appear like a child’s drawing of a pointy Christmas tree.
Yellow faces overtake lawns, fields, roadsides and ditches. They congregate in churchyards and farmyards and sneak into backyards.
They creep under back alley fire escapes, picnic tables and deck chairs, reflecting in glass patio doors and the shiny limbs of seated children.
They insinuate themselves between cracks in the sidewalk and patio blocks, sidle next to aristocratic irises, invade rockeries, leap into plant pots and window boxes, strangle petunias and threaten lobelias and intimidate geraniums.
They lurk beneath hedges, under flower beds, vegetable rows and fruit patches.
They gather in doorways, lean against lamp posts and dive under dumpsters and trash bins. They embroider the edges of apartments, hotels and vacant city lots.
Everyone tries to root them out with weed weasels, pointy tools or nasty chemical concoctions, hoping the fragments of sinewy taproots left behind won’t propagate.
I think we should let their blooms take over, pick their leaves and make salads.
Put them in egg sandwiches and quiches.
Enfold them into chicken dandelion casserole and dandy cream soup.
Steep them with ginger to make tea and ground roots into dips and sauces.
Cook them with chopped onion and minced garlic to stuff red peppers topped with parmesan cheese.
Pickle them in mustard sauce with beans and cucumber seeds, squash them into relish with vinegar, tarragon, carrots and green tomatoes and roast them with turnips.
Their blossoms could be rendered into jam or syrup, sweet as honey, fermented for wine and herbal beers, folded into chocolate chip cheesecake and dipped in flour and cinnamon for fritters.
Harmonious diagonal feng shui rows of dandelions could be planted and harvested.
New apothecaries would spring up, with magical potions to preserve youth and promote well-being.
Powders could be pressed into tablets and caplets with names like Magic Lion, Tigger Energy Powders, Peter Pan Youth Nectar and Baby Boom Extender.
Their juice could be used for elixirs and tinctures to neutralize free-roaming radicals, reduce inflammation, blast sticky plaques, clogs and blobs and boost flavonoids.
Topical skin preparations would fade freckles and brown spots, remove corns, calluses and warts.
Milky sap could be congealed into non-allergic rubber gloves, dental dams and mosquito repellent to ward off West Nile virus.
Dandelions could be a new muse for artists and architects — replacing sagging old Venus, the over-used moon, worn-out singing birds and tired roses.
Landscapes of yellow diagonal lines would vanish into complementary blue skies.
Paintings of still life with dandelions, prolific in vases, companion to oranges, apples, and fine china placed on draped tables in front of stained glass windows would hang above the couch.
An art dano architecture of dandelion motifs could spring forth, ring eaves and roof tops, accompany gargoyles on church corners, decorate arcades, festoon windows, lintels and doorways and replace the acanthus flower atop Corinthian columns.
They could ornament door knockers, beautify balustrades, mosaic floors and rival William Morris wallpapers with arabesques of dandelion leaves and flowers.
We could celebrate rites of passage — weddings, graduations and funerals — shredding their blooms for confetti, adorning at the centre of tables and birthday cakes and draped over coffins.
We should celebrate the dandelion’s spring glow, its transformation into feathery lightness and its gourmet, medicinal and artistic gifts.
We should dedicate festivals to the dandelion and applaud its refusal to be deleted, depleted or denied.