The Angry Gardener

“Off with your HEAD!” I mutter under my breath, cursing at the happy, little yellow weed as I behead it into infinity.
It happens every time I see a dandelion.
It can’t be helped.
They make my blood boil.
I don’t know what it is about them.
They are a jubilant, sunny colour.
The first food for bees in the spring season.
Looking so chirpy and “I’m here” and all that.
But I hate them.
And every time I pull one out of the garden, struggling to get the root, having to settle for just the stems and leaves, I swear.
It is a deep seated hatred.
I don’t know where it come from.
Perhaps it’s because I came from an era when toxic chemicals were allowed to eradicate them.
Everything was so green back then.
Parks, playgrounds, public buildings.
Unlike now, when the dandelions spread rampantly in a sunny sea since said chemicals were banned for everyone but golf courses.
The yellow carpeting now jubilantly covering those parks, playgrounds and public buildings.
Or perhaps my dandelion aversions come from the time when, as a child, when we were the only house on the street not to hire The Weed Man to come and help us with our dandelion problem.
We were the blight of the neighbourhood.
Our neighbours silently cursing us, I am sure, as all the seedlings from our dandelions wafted over to their perfectly manicured lawns, making a mockery of The Weed Man’s efforts and expense.
We were not a happy home on the inside, and I think it showed on the outside.
To this day, I believe a happy home on the inside is indicated by good curb appeal.
One can tell, by the degree of care in the gardens and lawn, if a home is a good and happy home.
But back to the present day.
Every morning on my weeding run around the garden, I see more and more of them.
Yesterday’s weeding efforts for naught.
Laughing at me. Mocking my efforts at trying to eradicate them.
Or at the very least, pull their happy, tiny heads off.
Oh, I know all about the laws of attraction.
And I know it is my energy spent hating them that is bringing them forth in abundance.
And I know dandelions are good for you – helping with digestion, and are yummy in teas.
But I am not alone.
I see our neighbours, refusing to resort to chemicals, try their best with the weed pullers, leaving deep wounds in their lawn, only to have even more dandelions the next day.
To quote the Borg Queen, resistance is futile.
It seems an insurmountable task.
As I dig in my trowel to try to loosen their deep grip on the earth, out comes an expletive that I am surprised to hear coming out of my mouth.
Something that would make the blasphemy-loving patriarchal character in Succession proud.
And as much as I love that show, I am not much of a blasphemer myself.
And when something does come out of my mouth, it shocks everyone around me and myself as well.
I usually reserve such language for technical difficulties with the computer.
I have dubbed it “Tech Rage” and I am sure I am not alone.
I know what comes out of my mouth pales in comparison to what comes out of, say, the mouth of singer Dave Grohl during a Foo Fighters concert: a “mother bleeper” here and a “mother bleeper” there.
But those teeny tiny plants, with their teeny tiny flowers, and their spiky leaves which give them their name, (from the French for “dente de lion” or teeth of the lion), do me in.
Those leaves, too, spark rage in me.
Their pointy edges seem to shout, “You can’t get me!”
And they are right.
Their rates of propagation outweigh any attempt to yank them out of the soil.
Their tell tale yellow flowers a constant rubbing of salt in the wound.
A reminder that we are but merely humans; they are dandelions.
And they will win.
As will the cockroaches.
But I digress.
I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity gardener; all are welcome.
An inclusive garden.
I don’t mind the other weeds that are something of a wildflower: the coltsfoot, the forget-me-not, the clover, the wild strawberries, the dead nettles, even the pretty wild morning glory called bind weed.
There’s a grey area for sure where some weeds have indeed transcended to groundcover, fill, and green patches.
The lowly blanket flower has somehow arrived in our garden and it indeed is a welcome thing.
The black eyed susan has also made her way amongst our flowers, and she can stay.
But it is with the dandelion that the line in the sand is drawn for me.
The taunting teeth on the leaves, the showy yellow flowers with many more lying in wait, no matter that you snap the head off of one.
The only consolation is that their season is short lived.
From yellow to seed to gone, it is just but a few weeks.
I will try to behead as many as I can in the time before they go to seed.
And try to keep the expletives under my breath lest I offend the neighbours.

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