The first home we ever owned was on—yes—Garden Road. But the soil was poorly drained and heavy. Our “lawn” (i.e., the area we mowed) was a ratty carpet of weeds (a broad variety) and some actual, very hearty grass. I called our place “The Garden Road Center for Botanical Diversity.”
Dandelions dominated the diversity, “those golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow…shining in the grass like a spark dropped from the sun.” (Thus wrote Henry Ward Beecher, who was apparently of broader mind than most Americans today.)
Alas, I cleverly decided to spread the cuttings from the lawnmower bag as a light mulch over my newly sown lettuce seed. These turned out to include not a gentle “spark dropped from the sun,” but a virtual conflagration of dandelion seeds, each aching to burn like an arc welder. They leapt to their destiny with wildfire speed. Dandelion sprouts look a lot like lettuce sprouts. I got much of the former, little of the latter—and an education.
“If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn,” Andrew V. Mason waxed.
To which I add: “At least then they wouldn’t have taken over my lettuce bed!”
What’s your worst gardening mistake? Send it to GREENPRINTS, Broken Trowel Award, P.O. Box 1355, Fairview, NC 28730. If we print it, you’ll get a free one-year subscription and our GREENPRINTS Companion CD!
This article was published originally in 2018, in GreenPrints Issue #113.