Queen Anne’s Lace is blooming on the roadsides now. To some it is just a tall scraggly weed and unwelcome in many gardens. To me as a young girl, it was a treasure.
I have always had a thing for picking flowers. Queen Anne’s Lace could be picked and no one would care. It wasn’t easy to pick though. That fragile looking lace top was supported by one of the toughest stems I ever had to bite off. Yes, I admit it. If bending or twisting didn’t work, I bit the stem and on more than one occasion. Even after all of that - the stem still had to be shredded off to take the prize home.
Queen Anne’s Lace reminds me of sticky summer days and the nights that followed. Bathed and powdered in “Ammens Medicated” my three siblings and I slept on the floor of the master bedroom, the only room in the house that was cool. I never liked the trade off of the windows closed to the sounds and smells of summer for the constant whirr of the air conditioner, though. I still don’t.
At the same time we were camping out on our parent’s bedroom floor, First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson was starting a campaign called “Wildflowers Across America”. Her project was to beautify the roadsides of America’s highways and interstates using wild flowers indigenous to each region. Queen Anne’s Lace is one of New Jersey’s beauties. Allowed and encouraged it to grow en mass, in medians and on roadsides, it is a lovely wildflower.
I have always thought so.