Dandelions In The City

Dandelion in the city next to red brick wall and stones urban weeds

Most of my days are spent far from an actual hiking trail, but even in the city you can stumble across some lovely nature. Cropping up in the crack of a brick wall, our #NatureDoodlewash “city” hike has brought us to this little flowering weed. Dandelions are often considered a rather pesky plant for those wanting to keep a green lawn, but seeing one on a city street always make me happy. It’s as if nature is saying, yeah, I’m here and no amount of concrete is keeping me out of this place. A single dandelion always looks so tough and ballsy in the middle of an urban jungle.

Despite its reputation as an unwanted weed, every part of the dandelion is useful from the root to the leaves to the flower itself. This little yellow wonder can be used for food, medicine and as a dye for coloring. As for the unusual name, dandelion actually comes from the French “dent de lion” which mean’s lion’s teeth. This loosely refers to the toothed leaves the plant produces. Taking shortcuts down alleyways in the city, I often come across these flowers. A tiny defiant bloom, hidden from the pesticides that killed its friends just around the corner. I quietly walk by, proud to keep its secret hiding place just between us.

It seems strange to find something so small and fragile next to a large manmade building towering above it. And a bit sad to think we’ve taken up so much space that this is the last little safe place it was able to find. Though humans have decided it’s a weed and worthy of destruction, these plants have been here a lot longer than we have. I prefer to share the world with them and enjoy their beauty. And as I’m walking across the concrete that used to be grass, I’m simply reminded that in reality things are quite different than I used to believe. In truth, I’m actually the dandelion in their city.

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Sap Green, Quinacridone Rust, Azo Orange, Azo Yellow, Dioxazine Purple, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. truejoy1986 6 years ago

    The writing is just as beautiful as the painting.

  2. Nancy 6 years ago

    Hooray for the dandelion, a resilient, hardy little plant. You are right, it doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It is funny how nature finds a way, even through the concrete we humans insist on covering it with. 😊

  3. Jodi 6 years ago

    so funny – I dabbled in painting some dandelions today! What are the odds??!! Only half done. If they turn it, will be featured in July for WORLD WATERCOLOR MONTH! wooohooooo! Lovely doodlewash. My grandma used to make the most amazing dandelion salad. (Of course – I worshipped anything she did!) 🙂

    • Author

      Hehe…grandmas are awesome!! Can’t wait to see yours!! I have precious little time for this one, but kind of liked the loose bits. Lol And woohoo!! World Watercolor Month is just a week away!!! 😃😃😃

  4. Margaret Parker Brown 6 years ago

    My turtle loved dandelions, I would pick them for him or let him graze…..I always think of him when I see one. Awww……memories 🙂

  5. Angie 6 years ago

    Such a lovely doodlewash, Charlie! I used to juice dandelions all the time. 🙂

  6. Jill Kuhn 6 years ago

    A dandy dandelion, Charlie! 😃 You are definitely “the glass is half full” kind of guy! And probably why I enjoy your blog so much! 💕🎨

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m always determined to find the positive in the world. Even my scary spiders end up with a bit of a smile! Lol 😊

  7. Birgit Winter 6 years ago

    The dandelions even made it up to the 4th floor on my balcony in the middle of the City! I must say that they may not be too happy there because I add them in my salad 😉

    • Author

      That’s awesome… see… they’re quite useful! Though yeah… they probably aren’t too happy with the spot they picked! Lol

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 years ago

    You astound me day after day with your art and your stories, but this story is the one that takes my breath away. You’ve captured so much about being alone in a crowd, about being outcast, and about being resilient no matter the odds. Well done, Charlie.

    • Author

      Awww… you’re so sweet to say that Sharon! 😃💕I’m so thrilled you liked this post. It means a lot to me! Thanks so much!

  9. YesterdayAfter 6 years ago

    Oh I love Dandelions they are pretty and a pop of color! And they are one of the strongest plants, the survive the urban city because their root grow very deep reaching the nutrients they need to survive! That’s why they have great health benefits for us! I have many here I just have to go outside, I add their leafs and flowers to the salad they are great a little bit of bitter taste but you get used to it soon! 😉 Your watercolor is beautiful Charlie you captured them perfectly!

    • Author

      Aww thanks, Carolina!😃💕 So happy you liked this! They’re such a cool little weed. I feel like they get a bad wrap sometimes! Hehe

  10. GeorgieMoon 6 years ago

    That’s lovely! Do you draw it as soon as you see it, or do you remember it for later? Or do you take a photo and draw from that?

    • Author

      Thanks so much! 😃💕I do a little of everything you mentioned for these. hehe… Lately, I’ve no time for urban sketching but hope to do some in July, so I’m working from photo references. I usually doodlewash at my kitchen counter in the 50 minutes before dinner after I get home from work. 😊

  11. A great blog post and painting, I think this story is fable worthy. To Dandelion survival🍷In the brick jungles.

  12. M. L. Kappa 6 years ago

    Brill idea, Charlie. I love all plants that pop up in impossible places…

  13. Mimi 6 years ago

    This is so lovely 😍

  14. memadtwo 6 years ago

    I’m with you Charlie…I never understood why everyone wanted to get rid of these lovely blooms. I like your rendering of stubbornness and persistence. (K)

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕Yeah… I think they’re so beautiful… I love seeing a lawn with them. A “perfect” lawn is boring!

  15. I just love your outlook, Charlie. Boy, humans need to realize we are just a blip on the screen. All of this beauty was here way before we were. Beautiful work, well done as always and thank you for sharing both words and image with us. 💜

  16. Cathe 6 years ago

    Wonderful dandelion Charlie. I rather love them and see fields of them in MN. They are tough weeds, but weeds can be so cool!

  17. grlie 6 years ago

    yes… And they will be here long after we are gone…

  18. Tom Merriman 6 years ago

    Nice dandelion, Charlie! I like the fact that they manage to get everywhere!

  19. Jacob 6 years ago

    Yay for weeds! (definitely plural!) Your doodlewash shows the defiance very well. I used to find that many of the plants I liked the most were either weeds or not particularly popular – the dandelion was one of them. I’ve always enjoyed the name but never thought about what it might mean – it’s so obvious now! I love those bright yellow ‘teeth’.

    And who didn’t love blowing dandelion seeds about the place 😉

    • Author

      We always made a wish first and then blew. Hehe…dandelions are just cool. And they were flowers you could pick as a kid without getting into trouble. Thanks Jacob! 😃

      • Jacob 6 years ago

        Yes – I didn’t know about the wishing business at the time! I guess this explains the lack of seals and Polos.

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