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

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39 thoughts on “Dandelions In The City

  1. 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. 😊

  2. 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!) 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

    1. 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. 😊

  5. 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. 💜

  6. 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 😉

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