The Church calendar and Mother Nature are in synch this year. Both Easter and Spring are early, with forsythia and daffodils in full bloom here in Tennessee.

I admire flowers, but I don’t like gardening. The only plants I purchase are perennials because I want to plant only once. I dig a hole, stick the plant in the ground, add water and pronounce: “Good luck. Live or die, you’re on your own – bona  fortuna.” You could describe my landscaping as “Darwinian” because it’s the survival of the fittest in my yard.

Have you noticed flowers need more tending, but dandelions are hearty…like weeds?  Weeds bloom wherever  their seeds wander or wherever they fall from birds’ claws. I applaud their heartiness. They’re low maintenance, like I hope to be. And that explains the case I make for the lowly dandelion.

If you didn’t know the dandelion was considered a weed, you would admire its cluster of bright yellow spikes that burst from its center. And given half a chance, these hearty blossoms will spread a golden carpet over lush green grass from one end of your yard to another.

If that doesn’t convince you the dandelion rates an upgrade to flower, consider that the University of Rochester —a leader in science, medicine and fine arts —adopted the dandelion as its official flower. Yes indeed! The University even celebrates “Dandelion Days.”

But that’s not all! Just ask Brother Malachi from The Divine Meddler’s Trinity Monastery about them. “Weed indeed!” he would snap. “We add dandelion greens to our salads, and I use them to make the wine Abbot Anselm is so fond of!”

Now really, what more evidence do you need to protect these hearty flowers from becoming an endangered species? Why attack them like Enemy #1?  I warn you, you’ll have the spirit of Brother Malachi to contend with if you do.

After listening patiently to my philosophy, my neighbor invited me to help myself to all his dandelions. (Hmmmmmm. I wonder if that conversation went in the direction I planned.)

I asked my friend, who is a master gardener, why some plants are considered weeds and others are called flowers when both are lovely. She said it’s because weeds drain the soil from nutrients and flowers don’t.

Picky, Picky. I still like dandelions. Is there one of you who agrees with me?