A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Hooptedoodle #23 - Dandelions, What Dandelions?

I knew it would happen. If I lived long enough, we would eventually buy a gadget that works.

With all this focus on blog awards and suchlike (well, not focus, exactly) I am once again aware that the one thing this blog is short of is stuff which is actually useful. Well today I am going to make up for that.

I have a friend who emails me regularly and says things like "I enjoyed the posting, but why on earth did you write it?". He also once described one of my posts (the one about bananas, in fact) as "an exercise in pointlessness", a judgement with which I cannot find fault, to be honest.

Anyway - a new world is here - if this works OK, I may start a series of domestic tips of the week - useful things like "how to get bloodstains out of a clown suit".

If, like me, you regard gardening as one of a number of things which take up time which could be spent with your toy soldiers, keep reading.
If, like me, you spend some time each week wondering just how the description "low maintenance" applies to your garden, keep reading.
If you have ever bought a patent gadget to make gardening easier, keep reading - especially if it turned out to be crap.
If you hate dandelions in your lawn (though you might like one if you met it socially), keep reading.

Gentlemen - I have bought a dandelion remover. This is not an advert - I am simply so overjoyed that I am sharing some news with you. The device is made in Finland, and is marketed under the trade name Fiskars. And it works. Mme Foy bought it for me, and it works.

I have a long, unhappy history with dandelions - I have sprayed them with all sorts of stuff, dug them up - no good, they come back stronger. In sunny weather, you can hear them laughing. Well, no longer. This new toy is well made, simple to use, and reliably pulls them up - as often as not with a complete tap root you could just about boil up for soup.

Wholeheartedly recommended - don't say I haven't got your interests at heart. If you want to see a demo - click here.


  1. Looks remarkably like the Garden Gizmo from the Channel Neus sketch from the Fast Show. HethethethethetheSausageFactory!

  2. Sorry, the link with the Garden Gizmo is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb5awdgutlc&feature=related. Still, it looks like one of those multi-use, must-have items, Or Your Money Back!

  3. It does a bit, now you mention it. No - I would have remembered - I'm pretty sure we've bought most of the Gizmo products over the years. We used to be fans of Scotts of Stow (UK readers may know them) - until we realised that (a) the stuff they sell, though frequently intriguing, is not necessarily intended to do anything, and (b) every item you purchase adds one more to the number of catalogues they send you every month. We got a pair of giant felt overshoes to protect our carpets from muddy gardening shoes - after several serious falls on the stairs we discovered you can take off your muddy shoes when you come in - aha! I used to keep an eye open for Billy Connolly's legendary bowler hat with sleeves, but I missed it. I still like to read the SoS catalogue - some great copy writing. "There's nothing worse than slipping hearthrugs..." - well, I would have thought that famine, pestilence, earthquakes and cancer of the liver were at least close.

    However, if I ever do need a walk-in bath for the dog, I wouldn't go to anyone else.



  4. I figured if they're going to grow so prolifically, they might as well be useful so I tried eating some dandelion greens last year. Twice! Once raw, once steamed. There are good reasons why they aren't carried in the local super market.

  5. Ross - I think we need to hear more of this experiment.

  6. I'll put in another plug for the Fiskar's de-dandelion device. We've got two of them, and they work very well and much better than any other method (besides which they're easier on my aging back). I've even had the neighbourhood know-it-alls asking questions.

    Ross - I have seen dandelion greens in the produce section. There was a summer or two when I had to avoid pulling or spraying them in our yard - as my daughter fed them to her hamster.