Tidy gardens have been the dream for many decades, but now people seem to be favouring a wilder garden. Wild gardens attract wildlife, but they’re not for everyone.
I grew up around parents and grandparents that were keen gardeners, and their efforts often mirrored that of magazines. The lawn was weeded and mowed regularly, the flowers were trimmed to perfection and everything looked very neat. However, whilst I have grown up loving the great outdoors, and wanting a back garden of my own, the thought of keeping a neat garden puts me off.
I don’t necessarily love weeds, they grow fast and it is often a laboured task trying to get rid of them. However, I’ve started to be less vigilant with them and instead allowing them to grow a bit before ridding the soil of them. I have found that the rest of the plants have started to thrive from this. Perhaps this is because insects are eating these rather than the plants that cost a pretty penny. It also feels more rewarding to get rid of the larger weeds because it took less time, and one usually pulls another and it’s quite therapeutic.
We also got lazier about cutting the grass, it started to look like something from a meadow. However, there was something nice about seeing our cat hiding, walking and running through the grass. There were patches of soil, but the longer grass seemed to help this recover. The down side was that we started to get a lot more insect bites, but it was sometimes entertaining watching the wildlife that the garden attracted.
I also started to appreciate the garden a lot more when I went outside. Leaving the plants to do their own thing meant that they grew and are thriving. There seem to be more bees and butterflies than there ever was. It’s not becoming more of a sensory delight of bright colours and smells, than it ever was.
I don’t necessarily love moss growing between the paving slabs, and it started to annoy me that it looked a little unloved, so I drew the line at this and started to clear these straight away. It was a boring task, but it felt rewarding afterwards.
A wild garden isn’t for everyone, but I found it more rewarding watching, creepers grow up existing plants and seeing new eco systems forming. There was so much for the eye to see because they were drawn to the grown, across and up. Overall, it is better for the environment and I will be sticking with it, and enjoying it. I would rather enjoy the garden than it be a labour of love.