Our love for dandelions goes back decades. Susan Roghani, co-creator of Chateau des Fleurs shares an excerpt from her journal dated 1979.

I noticed the small bundles of wild dandelions being sold in the marketplace. On hot Sunday afternoons, the families search the mountainsides for wild dandelions. One taste of steamed dandelions coated with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemons and I fell in love. My painting studio was a little house located in Anafiotika, cut into the hillside of the Acropolis in the heart of Athens. Each spring I wandered the hills among the red poppies picking dandelions for dinner. According to a note, I took one time, Margaret Lauterbach, (I always think of her as the queen of Idaho gardening), claims dandelions provide more than half of the early food source for our local honeybees. So between the honeybees and my deep love of those little yellow cheerful flowers, you can be sure to always find them in our gardens.

Dandelions are now blooming in the Chateau Gardens, and we happily allow them to grow without worry. Our gardens are pesticide-free, insect full, and we like it that way! Some may consider dandelions a pest, but we consider them to be a welcome part of our garden’s ecosystem. 

It has been documented that dandelions provide an essential role in the survival of honey bees and butterfly larvae. If these pollinating insects should come to life early, they will need to turn to dandelions in the months of April and May, before other pollinating flowers bloom. 

Bumblebees play an essential role in the health of our environment, as pollination is critical to a thriving garden. As bees go from one flower to another, collecting and delivering pollen, they are providing an essential function of cross-pollination. This helps flowers to produce more seeds, trees to produce fruit, and vegetables to successfully grow.

As Margaret Lauterbach, contributing gardening consultant for the Idaho Statesman says, ‘Dandelions? You’re far better off if you learn to love them. They bloom early, feed early-rising bees, and bring deep-lying nutrients to the surface,’ (Margaret Lauterbach, “New to Gardening in the Treasure Valley? Here are Some Tips”, Idaho Statesman, Feb. 14, 2018).

So, as a company built upon love, family, and connection, we have come to love these beautiful little dollops of sunshine. Next time you wander onto the Chateau grounds, we invite you to take a stroll, and if you spot dandelions, you’ll know that we are doing our part to help the bees to make the best garden possible for our community.

A Tip From Our Garden:

Wild dandelion greens are perfect for spinach pie and your health. 

It’s time to wake up and stimulate the liver and purify the blood with a plate of wild dandelion greens. You will find us mixing these wild greens into our spinach pies this year. Wild dandelion greens contain calcium, iron, potassium and trace minerals. 

Both the leaves and root of the dandelion can be made into a bitter tonic for the liver as well. Bitter tonics optimize, stimulate and rejuvenate the tongue allowing it to signal to the gallbladder to make bile and aiding in the breakdown of fats and cholesterol. Overall it is clear to understand why the mighty dandelion is loved by half of the world.

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