“Then, rising from the cellar, like a June goddess, Grandma would come, something hidden but obvious under her knitted shawl. This, carried to every miserable room upstairs-and-down would be dispensed with aroma and clarity into neat glasses, to be swigged neatly. The medicines of another time, the balm of sun and idle August afternoons, the faintly heard sound of ice wagons passing on brick avenues, the rush of silver skyrockets and the fountaining of lawn mowers moving through ant countries, all these, all these in a glass.”
Ray Bradbury, from his book, Dandelion Wine.
Today I stand, happily, in front of a few dandelions, they are starting to show their faces in lawns across the Midwest. I have never had dandelion wine, Bradbury really makes it sound wonderful. I suspect it would be bitter and earthy, despite the yellow of the flowers I imagine it would taste green. I did once dig up many dandelions and use the roots to dye wool. It was a long and arduous process, and instead of a blue or purple color I had hoped for, it made the fluffy white fleece and sickly grey. I do not recommend using dandelion roots as dye. I remember walking to school past one lawn that was filled with dandelions in spring, while all the others were carefully weeded, and thinking how beautiful, why don’t people just grow dandelions? But the rest of the summer the other lawns were lush green carpets that made you want to try a cartwheel, and the dandelion lawn was patchy and spiky and just plain ugly. Still, maybe it was worth it for that week or two of a beautiful bright yellow field. I do like dandelions, though I spend a lot of time ripping them out of lawns. While other weeds creep low in the lawn, hiding from mower blades and stealthily destroying your landscaping, the dandelion puts out a bright yellow flag, announcing that it has intentions of spreading a lovely puff of seeds. It cries, “Here I am! If you don’t want me in your lawn, come pull me out!” I think dandelions are very courteous weeds.