Dandelions Are Beautiful

A Rose By Any Other Name

Dandelions have not always been considered "weeds." They were considered their own kind of rose before a pristine carpet of green grass became the predominant fad across suburbia.

Weed Or Flower

How fickle we humans are!

We define and judge everything that walks, crawls, grows, and exists.

Accepted flower, condemned weed. It's exhausting when you think about it.

If you make the "bad" list, look out. Humans are more interested in eradication than co-existence.

Herbicides used on lawns take a terrible toll on wildlife. More than seven million wild birds are estimated to die annually due to the use of lawn pesticides.

Thirty million acres of the United States are lawns, and an estimated 80 million pounds of pesticides are used on them annually.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that “homeowners use up to ten times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops.
— Maine Organic Farmers

Dandelions Smile With The Sun

Hundreds of species of Dandelion grow in the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America.

The Dandelion is a hardy perennial that can grow to a height of nearly 12 inches. Its leaves are deeply-notched, toothy and long and the grooves in them funnel rain to the roots. Sunny, yellow flowers perch on top of the stems.

Dandelion flowers open with the sun in the morning and close in the evening or during gloomy weather. This living movement gives us pause. How alive this humble flower is, how responsive to the day.

Maine Organic Farmers wrote an article about these sunshine flowers. Ten Things You Might Not Know About Dandelions.

The Problem With Dandelions

The difficulty with Dandelions is that one species was brought over from Eurasia and is not native to America. This Eurasian Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is considered an alien, invasive species that lacks its own checks and balances.

Alien invasive species have a great edge over native species, be they plant or animal, largely because the invasive or introduced species generally arrives in a new land without its predators, pests and diseases in tow.
They have an unfair advantage over native species which have an extensive array of things that like to eat or kill them that have evolved in place with the natives.
— NatureNorth.com

It's difficult to tell the difference between native Dandelions that are meant to be here and invasive Dandelions. They all get lumped in together.

In North America there are various species of False Dandelion (Agoseris spp.) whose flowers look like classic Dandelion flowers, but which have quite different leaves.

False Dandelion (Agoseris glauca) is a native prairie plant and its flower and wispy seeds look quite similar to the Eurasian Dandelion, but you'll note the difference in the photos below.

The seeds of the Eurasian Dandelion are on the left and the seeds of the False Dandelion, the native prairie flower, are on the right.

Seeds That Fly On The Wind

Children dance in the magic of a dandelion – make a wish and blow the seeds on to the wind (much to the chagrin of anyone trying to limit their growth).

Dandelion seeds are the parachutes of woodland fairies and grantors of wishes in imaginary kingdoms.

For those interested in how Dandelions are used in teas, herbs and remedies, The University of Maryland published this article. They also offer good information on possible side effects and drug interactions.

Yards Without Herbicides

When I lived in Germany, we were not allowed to use herbicides on the lawns. This was to protect the water sources. Living inland, we depended on water that seeped into the ground. No need to drag chemicals into it for us to drink. 

As for the yards – what grew, grew. You mowed what was there, be it flowers, clover, and/or grass. Yards seemed to do just fine like this. As a human, it was relaxing to not have a compulsion to rip, pull or spray into death each and every plant designated as subpar.

Co-existence was, indeed, possible.

Only in the twentieth century did humans decide that the dandelion was a weed.
Before the invention of lawns, the golden blossoms and lion-toothed leaves were more likely to be praised as a bounty of food, medicine and magic.
Gardeners used to weed out the grass to make room for the dandelions.
— Maine Organic Farmers

We humans come in all types. Some homeowners desire a pristine yard free of any vagrant weed and some nature-nuts think dandelions are cool.

You can count me in with the nature-nuts. 

Black bears love dandelions too. To eat!

Dahlia Flowers

City Flower of Seattle

Although I've lived in the Seattle area before, now that I'm "settling down," I'm learning more details about this place that I'll be calling home.

One thing I discovered through Seattle Refined – a television program dedicated to all the ins-and-outs of the Seattle area – is that Seattle has a city flower. It's the Dahlia.

Ordinance 32137, approved November 19, 1913, established the dahlia as the City’s official flower and requested that the Park Board of the City plant and cultivate the flower in suitable quantities to make effective displays in the City parks.
— Seattle City Symbols

In this post is a set of photos of Dahlias that I took with my iPhone 7. These flowers were blooming with wild abandon even at the end of September.

In this first photo, I was lucky to share a dahlia with a busy bee. His wings were buzzing so quickly that you can scarcely see them. The rich yellow of his body contrasts with the red intensity of the flower. 

Stop And Smell The Flowers

Flowers speak to our hearts. I was lucky to discover an entire garden dedicated to Dahlias in the town of Silverdale which is just across the water from Seattle. It's an interesting little patch that was cultivated and located at the town's post office. 

I've been there before, running into the post office to take care of mailing errands. I had not paid attention to these sweet flowers blooming in all their glory.

When I finally noticed, it was a great reminder to increase my awareness of my surroundings and to "stop and smell the roses" – or in this case, the dahlias. There's often some truth to be found in an old adage.

Dance With The Flowers

I loved taking the time to wander in the garden, snapping pictures with my phone camera. Standing amidst so many flowers, all singing their melodious songs, my spirit was filled with wonder and appreciation for nature.

Gratitude washed over me to be with the open hearts of these flowers in all their many shapes and sizes. We shared a dance of our spirits.

Many Variations Of Dahlias

Dahlia flowers have many variations in their shapes, colors and petals. In the photo above, this one appears to have a fire burning within.

I was surprised to learn that Dahlias originated from Mexico and Central America since The Pacific Northwest is markedly cooler and wetter than those areas. However, a post about growing Dahlias had this to say:

Although dahlias are native to the highland areas of Mexico and Central America, they are particularly fond of our cool-summer Northwest Coast climate in Washington State, and it’s easy for anyone to grow them to perfection with very little care.
— Puget Sound Dahlia Association

Gardens As Sweet As Your Smile

Wistful inner petals encircled the nectar-filled jewel at the center of this lavender flower above. Its feathered patterns enchanted both pollinators and me. I was intrigued that it, too, was a Dahlia.

The Old Farmers Almanac informs us that the Dahlia was named for Anders Dahl (botanist), born on 17 March 1751.

The Dahlia you brought to our isle
Your praises forever shall speak
‘Mid gardens as sweet as your smile
And colour as bright as your cheek.
— Lord Holland (1773-1840)

Dahlias Are Magical

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), it's possible to share and direct radiant energy with plants and flowers. One way is with TRT® hands-on by gently cupping your hands around a flower.

Your Radiant Touch® accesses universal energy and expands upon the wholeness that is within both you and the flower. It can be a wonderful exchange between universal hearts.

Did you know that the city of Seattle has an official flower?
It’s the beautiful dahlia, and there is nowhere better to see them than the Volunteer Park Dahlia Garden, and no better time than August - when they’re in full bloom.
— Seattle Refined

In the dahlia garden, there were many more flowers in colors of orange, yellow and white. There wasn't enough time to photograph them all.

Next season, when dahlias are blooming, I hope to capture more photos of these flowers that are like magical fairies. A visit to Volunteer Park Dahlia Garden is on the books.


Flowery Photos Of Agapanthus

Instead of flowery prose, we shall indulge in flowery photos of our tantalizing Agapanthus flowers.

It's a chance to enjoy photos from bud to blossom to seed pod without the interjection of chatty words.

Let's allow the flowers to speak for themselves.


As The Party Winds Down

Beginning With Flower Buds

In a previous post, I wrote about the Agapanthus flowers in my backyard and their riotous party. 

It all started innocently enough. Here, tight buds whisper among themselves about the explosion of color that will come from their blooms. 

Long stems stretch up and up into the sky, eager to show off their displays of blue-purple flowers.

Agapanthus buds make preparations for a blooming party.

Flowers Bloom

Flowers bloom with hearts wide open, tossing their colors across the yard.

The Sweet Calm Of Ripening

But, like all good times, the party has to wind down. After the wild blooming, the calm of ripening unfolds as blossoms give way to seed pods.

Here, a ripening pod plays peek-a-boo as it pushes its way out from flower petals.

Seed Pods

Agapanthus seed pods are no less rich and satisfying to behold in their fullness than the flowers themselves. Their long, green pods gleam in the sun, humming with the renewal of life. They tantalize with their shiny fruit.

Late Bloomers

They say there's always a late bloomer, and it proved no less true amongst these flowers. Below, a blossoming flower proudly sings its song even while the rest of the flowers have already turned into seed pods. 

Flowers Fill Our Hearts

Such abundance and love these flowers share, easily and freely. A grateful smile that I could witness their beauty. 

I was able to bring The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) to the full process of buds, flowers, pods and then quiescence. With TRT® hands-on, I touched the flowers with radiant energy (mindful of the bees!).

With The Second Degree of TRT®, I directed loving energy to the flowers, even as I watched them from my kitchen window. 

As we say goodbye to this season's blossoms, it's a bittersweet farewell since I won't get to see them next year. I'll have to be "in touch" with them from the inner light that we shared.

A new family lives there now. I hope they'll appreciate these glorious flowers known as Agapanthus and won't mind their wild and crazy parties!


A Riotous Party Of Flowers

A Wild Celebration Of Purple

A cacophony of color has exploded in my backyard as Agapanthus flowers throw a party of riotous purple.

I'm usually not one for loud parties, but in this case, I have to smile every time I look out my window and behold the blaze of life-affirming color filling the yard. I never pick them. I let them live in all their beauty, anchored in the earth's thick clay.

Agapanthus Flowers Celebrate Life

Agapanthus flowers celebrate life with wild abandon as they stretch their purple colors up to a sky of blue. They welcome buzzing pollinators with joy. 

These flowers are nature's fireworks – bursts of purple streaks held in sunbeams, suspended in time for us to behold. 

Flowery Fireworks

No fear of fires started or damaged property, Agapanthus spreads loving blooms of color with everyone. 

No loud and scary explosions, the flowers erupt into gentle petals and delicious nectar that honey bees can't resist.

Yes, this is my favorite sort of celebration and fireworks. A riotous party of pure nature.

Communing With Nature

Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can dance with all the parties of nature. With TRT® hands-on, you can commune with flowers. You can place your hands on the flowers themselves, getting in touch with the fire of life in their petals. 

You can also spend time in the garden with the flowers and apply TRT® hands-on for yourself in various positions. Expand your awareness of the wholeness within nature and our deep inner-connection with the life force of our planet.

Front Position #1, in the heart, is wonderful to expand your loving connection with nature.

You Deserve The Gift Of Flowers

There's no unwritten rule that someone else should bring you flowers. You can treat yourself to flowers whenever you desire.

Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers.
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.

Perhaps there are certain flowers that touch your heart. You can find them in a backyard, a park, or in a local flower shop.

You don't even have to pick them, just let them bloom in your heart.