Don’t you wish we would never lose our childish imagination that allows us to see ordinary weeds as wishes? Such is the case, of course, with dandelions. For most of us as mothers, aunts, or grandmothers it is the first flower we receive from our children, grandchildren, nephews or nieces.
Nothing sounds better to my ears than children laughing and running in a field of dandelions ( or my own front yard) on a spring evening making wishes and blowing the dandelion seeds with full blown puffy cheeks. Children don’t realize that they are classified as just weeds and that many adults spend most of their entire “yard life” fighting them in an on-going struggle…man against weeds.
All it takes to add to the wish-making experience of blowing dandelions is an old Irish legend that explains how faeries are caught and imprisoned in the dandelion until released by someone blowing it free. For this act of freedom…they turn into garden faeries and will keep your yard and garden free from weeds. (I should have blown a little harder or longer last spring since the weeds are a formidable opponent this summer.)
If you look carefully at this picture…on the dandelion…you will see another little creature associated with wishes…ladybugs. The history behind this wish is quite interesting.
Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home
Your house is on fire, and your children will burn
All except for little nan, weaving gold laces as fast as she can”
Almost everyone knows that ladybugs bring good luck! Having one land on your hand is said to bring luck to you! The poem above is well known and was first sung back in the Medieval times in England. At the end of a harvest they would burn their crops to clear the land for new plants the following year.
They sung the song to ladybugs still lingering, her children were the larvae which could escape by crawling away but the Nan was the pupa, who were fastened to plants and not able to move therefore burning.
They sure didn’t sing about happy things back then! Here are some more magical and wonderful beliefs about ladybugs from all around the world.
Why are they called ladybugs?
The most popular story of how the ladybug got its name comes from the Middle Ages. In Europe swarms and swarms of insects were ruining crops everywhere. Farmers started praying to the Virgin Mary hoping she could help the crisis.
Soon, ladybugs showed up and started eating all of the insects and helped to protect the crops. The farmers called them Beetles of our Lady, because they believed the Virgin Mary had sent them to help. Eventually the name was reduced to Lady Beetles then Ladybugs. The red shell represented her cloak and the spots were symbols of her joy and sorrows.
One of my favorite scenes from the movie Under the Tuscan Sun (another Diane Lane chick flick) is when she is told by a friend that ladybugs bring luck and love when they land on your hand….In the meantime…to go have fun, forget about finding love…it is only then that the elusive love will no longer be elusive ….*A “Ladybug” quick clip scene from the movie (1:20 min)
Today many ideas about weeds have changed…take Goldenrod for example….you will find in many garden magazines… suggestions to plant it in your garden… which would have been unheard of…in the past. The reason why? (It just might bring good wishes too.)
Go for the Gold…Goldenrod!
Goldenrod is a host plant for a number of beneficial insects and is used as a food source by a number of moth and butterfly caterpillars. The Goldenrod in my gardens is literally covered with bees, wasps, flies and butterflies sipping nectar when it is in bloom. Other insects including Praying Mantis, Lacewings, a number of spider species, beetles and parasitic wasps utilize it for both habitat and food.
Historically Goldenrods were unjustly blamed as the cause of hay fever, but the true hay fever culprit is really ragweed (Ambrosia sp.) which blooms at the same time as Goldenrod. While ragweed’s pollen is wind-born, the pollen of Goldenrod is too heavy and sticky to be blown in the wind and it is pollinated primarily by insects. So nix to that argument!
According to a Goldenrod legend…if you take a chance on it and bring it into your garden to benefit the insects of nature…the garden owner will soon discover his/her own “pot of gold.” (I have to think on this!)
So until tomorrow….Jesus talked about a special place within us :
Pulling weeds and planting seeds. It’s the story of life. We are individual lots on which either weeds of selfishness or the fruit of the Holy Spirit grow and flourish. Jesus warned that the soil of our hearts is the most valuable acreage on planet earth. It is from this chunk of living terra firma that we uproot weeds, plant good seeds, grow, and harvest fruit for all to see.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
“Little girls, and boys come out to play
Bring your dandelions to blow away
Dandelion don’t tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion”
~The Rolling Stones
*Come down memory lane and listen to the song…