While it was a good introduction to the falsehoods of marketing, it didn't teach me to question other things she told me in me my early life. I grew up believing that she had once had a career riding horses in the circus and that she was good friends with the Harlem Globe Trotters. Yes, it's safe to say I inherited my imagination from my mother.
But back to the 'lion hunting...
The most valuable thing living abroad has gifted me is the ability to see this wonderful place where I grew up with new eyes. I'll admit to being quite evangelical about Armagh - you could say I'm a Born Again Armachian.
I noticed something this year that I've never noticed before - how gorgeous the dandelions are.
They're everywhere in a glorious blaze of yellow as if transporting the sun's rays from beyond the clouds to shine from our lawns, fields and roadsides.
I'm so happy to see they haven't been sprayed with weedkiller and that some councils seem to be encouraging their growth on the grass verges - or is this just a delightful side effect of having no government and no money spent on local infrastructure?
Whatever it is I say let the 'lions roar!
Many folk believe dandelions to be weeds but I promise you they are much more than that. Click here of a great summary of facts about dandelions.
Dandelions are among the first flowers to blossom after the winter and provide a food source. It's not the richest food for the bees but it breaks their fast and saves them from starving. For more information check out these links:
|Dandelions in foreground - rapeseed crop in background. The Irish landscape creating it's own sunshine!|
Fried dandelion heads (Imagine telling your two-year-old you're eating 'lion heads for dinner!)
Dandelion ginger wine (For the grown-ups!)
This surprised me the most but makes sense - dandelions help the lawn in at least two ways.
- The strong and deep taproots break up the solid, aerating it.
- The same deep roots pull minerals up to the surface layers thus helping to fertilize it.
To think that we travelled for miles last summer to see fields of lavender flowers in Provence and here on our doorstep we have equally beautiful sights that most of us don't even appreciate. Watch too for the gorgeous rapeseed fields. I noticed the delicious fragrance when I hoped out of the car to snap this shot. Gorgeous all round.