Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Instead of using chemical weed control, find a couple of kids who are plenty
bored waiting for their dance class to begin,one who’s fidgeting while you
get your tires rotated, or
growing grumpy waiting
for big brother to emerge
from school. Pick a large

Dandelions are in the park,
in cracks between side-
walks,in empty lots. I
recently knocked on a door
to ask the surprised home-
owner if she minded if we
picked dandelions from her
yard. Dandelions are free for the taking, and twenty
stems make a fabulous if ephemeral craft kit. People
of a certain age learned to make these chains in childhood, but for today’s children the skill is likely to be a revelation.

A lawn studded with golden
dandelions is not ‘an ugly
lawn’ as my TV just
pronounced via Scott’s
Weed & Feed. This is a
lawn like a ‘jewelry store’
according to my favorite
8 year old, jewels ready to
fashion into the rings and
things she just learned.
Bright yellow splotches
in green grass can
be charming when you re-label
the view as a source of
pleasure. Young greens
for salads with hot bacon
dressing? Flowers for cookies?

How To Make Dandelion Jewelry
1. Pick a bunch of dandelions, with longish stems. (Works with clover or wild daisies too.)
2. With your thumbnail cut a slit about 1/2 inch long in the middle of the stem.
3. Slip a second dandelion stem
through the slit and pull gently
until the second flower reaches
as far as it can go.
4. Make a slit in the second flower
and keep going until your chain is long enough to make a crown for a King or Queen, a tiara for a
princess, a necklace or a wrist band.
5. To end off, make a final slit at the end of the last flower and loop the first flower back through it. Or tie the two ends carefully in a knot. Double click on any photo to enlarge.


wiseacre said...

I hate Scott's Weed and Feed!

It nearly ruined my 'perfect' lawn for good when my daughter's old boyfriend decided to do use a favor and spread it on my bluets, pussytoes, hawkweeds and plantains among other wildflowers that make up the majority of my lawn. And the dandelions are just another bonus in my yard.

Mono cultures are so boring and unhealthy.

I'm going to have to wear a crown to town.

Ellen Spector Platt said...

Hey Wiseacre, When I had my herb farm I lived next to a development of new homes. Many of the owners were aiming for pristine lawn. I had natural meadow with violets, buttercups, daisies, chicory, Queen Anne's lace and assorted grasses. And I got official commplaints from the homeowners association for "harboring vermin" in the tall meadow. ESP

Ellen Spector Platt said...

and oldengray, you made my day. I was trying to figure out if a comment at the Times would lead anyone to Garden Bytes from the Big Apple. You're the first, and conventional wisdom says I'll always remember you. Big thank you from a grateful Grammy as I try to figure out the blogosphere.

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