This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The yellow of the dandelion flower is certainly as fine a bit of color as can be found in the floral world. This composite flower head is a disk, or button, of clear gold, as bright and handsome as a new ten dollar piece, but unlike the coin, it is richness (and beauty, I would like to say), without value, uncared for and unsought.
It blooms upon every field throughout the Spring and Fall months, but, excepting by children, it remains upon them untouched. Running on to ripeness the occasional breeze catches the pappus-lightened seeds, and carrying them upward and away, seems to say, "you are at last appreciated. Though the recognition is late, we have plucked you as early as we were able; heretofore, not appearances, but weight, prevented".
This plant might be potted in the Fall, then placed in cold frames, or pits, and whenever wanted carried into the hothouse and forced into bloom. This is a hint for the florist, and, acted upon, will probably furnish him with a new plant for mid-winter or late winter ornamental purposes; That the treatment suggested would be successful, I think there is but little doubt, as we know that during the early months of the year, and late again, quite into winter, a warmish, sunny day, not uncommonly brings into sight, in sheltered places, a number of nests of these flowers.
When the weather is cool, the scapes, or flower stems, of the dandelion, are short; but in warm weather, when the plant is in rapid growth, it will be remembered that these stems shoot out to a greater length and become quite long enough for bouquet purposes. With hot-house forcing, I think the same result would, or might, be realized in January, February or March.
Grown in very shallow pots, say two inches in depth by four or four and a half in width, and the same placed within some more attractive earthen or metal vessel of equal shallowness, the entire plant with a half-dozen blooms upon its rosette of carefully grown and protected leaves, would be a pretty object for the festive table.
Who will give our humble and familiar friend a cold weather trial ? It would be an easy task, as the plant is always so near at hand.