The Dandelion Wars of 2013 will no doubt be found in Canadian history books; they were epic in scope. Warrior Jim was a madman, racing in a frenzy onto our lawn, jagged-edged knife in hand, at the pop-up of any little yellow blossom. Madame Guillotine had nothing on my husband in his full weed- kill mode. I should have taken up knitting. Nervous neighbours observed from the safety of their yards. I confess to moments of indecision - continue with the seemingly endless battle on the yellow blanket or admit defeat and open Uxbridge's first winery.....for dandelion wine, that is! I can picture the cute little bottles even now.
Thankfully, those dreaded little yellow flower faces ultimately dwindled in number. I like to imagine that word of a crazed dandelion murderer at #21 spread amongst the dandelion population. The end of our lawn wars? Hardly....hostilities simply moved!
The new theatre for war? Our rear yard. With attention focused on the front theatre, another menacing enemy, unnoticed, invaded our back lawn. Ever heard of "Creeping Charlie"? Yup! That would be enemy #2. This pesky, stubborn creeper, as rapidly as reproducing rabbits, sent out runners spreading with alacrity, strangling our grass and heading for our flower beds.
Knife abandoned, Jim's new weapon of choice became our steel lawn rake. Where is DDT when you need it? Endless hours of aggressive raking, mangled steel tines and bulging biceps eventually saw the end of Charlie.
Another victory! Exhausted, but relieved, we entered this past winter gleefully anticipating golf course worthy green lawns this spring.
Did I tell you that my husband loves to feed the birds in winter? Forget skiing; this is his winter passion. Nothing gives Jim more pleasure than to spot pinesiskins, cardinals, house finches and blue jays, beautiful against the winter backdrop.
A plethora of photos are taken. Word has it that Jim, single-handedly, kept H. H. Goode & Son in business this winter with his massive seed purchases!
But herein lies our new problem. The best feed for the winter bird population are black oil sunflower seeds, extremely nutritious and a source of high quality protein for our feathered friends. Do the birds feed on our deck? Sometimes. However, they are far more likely to carry seeds to their nest. And that means....you got it!
No Creeping Charlie this year. We now enjoy sparse grass interspersed with thousands of sunflower sprouts.
And so I now ask myself, do we engage in the Sunflower Wars of 2014? Or should we simply allow the sunflowers to overtake our rear yard? I envision a wood-fired outdoor oven, a glass of wine and fields of sunflowers. Who needs Tuscany? Pizza anyone?