Sunday, May 13, 2007

Perennial of the yea(s)
Green Thumb Sunday

There could only be one winner in the perennial of the year(s). Showy, yellow double blossoms are held high above its deeply serrated green leaves. These long standing flowers are produced in a profusion which lasts from early spring to last frost, followed by a decorative seedhead. Perfect for the cottage garden, it happily self seeds. Catch those seedlings quick if you don't want more, (but why wouldn't you?) because this plant has a deep tap root that not only aerates the soil but also allows it to withstand drought. Easy to grow, it is not picky about soil, being equally happy in the traditional border or rock garden.

In our test gardens, we have also found it quite effective as a groundcover. Its broad leaves that will grow closely together excluding light from other less desirable species. It will withstand some foot traffic and may be mowed to keep low. If you prefer, it can also be naturalized in your lawn or added to the wildflower mix. Bees love it! Not only that, but it is edible! From dappled shade to full sun, this perennial is a winner. Why not add it to your gardening scheme?

Or have you already learned the delights of Taraxacum officinale:

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The dandelion

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11 comments:

jodi said...

I am glad to see someone else who thinks dandelions are delightful. Amazingly, they aren't yet blooming in our yard and garden, but they are in the Valley, so I expect sometime this week to see their smiling happy faces. Coltsfoot has been blooming, but it doesn't enchant me nearly as much, maybe because its flowers aren't as showy--but they are early! :-)

Delicious post, whether you were being celebratory or sarcastic, I really enjoyed.

RUTH said...

They are a fabulous splash of yellow and their seedheads are amazing. The roots used to be used as a coffee substitute. I must be honest though as pretty as they are I do dig them out of my garden.

skeet said...

Nothing lowly about dandelions. Beautiful and with a lot to recommend them ,though so many hate to see them!

Michelle said...

Yes, yes! One of my favorite! It must be, I have TONS of them. You did forget to mention, in your list of attributed, that if you rub one under you chin and it turns yellow, you like boys. Oh, and the stems and flowers make handy necklaces in a pinch.

CG said...

I'm rather fond of dandelions myself :)

Kathy said...

I hate dandelions. I want to snuff out their greedy little dandelion hearts. They've taken over my front lawn and are making threatening advances to the back. They've had a cushy existence for the last two years, however, this will be the year that the dandelions will die! Me and my trusty WeedHound will be out after the rain, ripping them up from their homes.

Muwhahaha!

seedling said...

Now I have a greater appreciation for dandelions. Thank you.
Plus, they're the foundation for many an impromptu bouquet too!

anne said...

That was too funny (but totally true).

When I was a kid, I would collect dandelion seeds, put them in little handmade packets and sell them to the neighbours for 25c.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Jodi: I think I was being both celebratory and sarcastic. I really want to like dandelions more than I do. I like them, but I have to dig them out of my lawn to appease the neighbourhood. However, I also appreciate their reliable beauty and their usefulness.

I wish that we could love them more!

Kate said...

Yesterday, I was admiring the leopard's bane and wondering to myself why these flowers are loved while the lowly dandelion is reviled ... I suppose it is its habit of spreading everywhere!

Kati said...

very entertaining, whether praising or damning them and I agree either way. is there a rule I have to be consistent?