|What a lovely, evil flower . . .|
I like having a handsome landscape, but I'm not all that hepped up about being the one who actually does the gardening. I prefer to leave that to others who are better equipped.
But there's one thing in the garden I genuinely enjoy doing. And that's pulling dandelions.
Every spring, in April and May, I spend several weekends in a row weeding our lawns of dandelions. It is highly satisfying.
|. . . given to multiplying alarmingly|
When we bought Darlington we were astonished by the legions of dandelions that sprung up on the property our first spring there. The lawns seemed to be nothing but dandelions. There were thousands of them poking their saucy, sunny heads up, smirking at us.
|Better catch this one soon, before it opens|
again, having gone to seed
I spent weeks and weeks digging them up, and Boy spent an equivalent amount of time spraying them with herbicide, along with the disgusting plantain that also defiled our lawns.
Within a couple of years we had tamed the dandelion beast. Now it is only a matter of maintenance. But living in the country, as we do, surrounded by farms and fields, the beast requires vigilance.
|This afternoon's bounty|
Even though we have a gardener and a gardener's assistant to help us with such chores, I like to get in on the action. Last weekend I pulled up several bushels of dandelions. I expect to spend the better part of this weekend doing the same. I'm rather stiff after all that bending and stooping, I admit. Stiff, yes, and happy.
There is little that is more satisfying than getting a good purchase on the root of a dandelion with one's weeding tool, yanking it up from the soil, and tossing the intruder in the waiting basket.
And now, Dear Reader, I'm off to finish the second installment of "The Family Secret". . .
Photographs by Boy Fenwick