Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Messy Yard

I used to be a little bit neat.

Just a bit, though...certain things on hangers and in rows and other things usually wiped off and swept clean most of the time.

I grew up in rural Maine and spent lots of time in the woods. Then I spent nearly all my free time for years backpacking in the desert in the Four Corners area.  For years I washed pans and myself using only 1 cup of water, packed out my poop and went literally weeks without a full shower.

I also saw LOTS of back country that was not swept or tended or landscaped, but being untamed it was vast and mysterious and so beautiful that it sucked most of the tidy from my soul.  Tidy seemed not only less important than ever, not only trivial and pretentious, but insulting to nature herself.

I grow weeds. I don't let them all rampage. But I do cultivate dandelions and lamb's quarters and wild sunflowers.  I knock down the mallow, but I leave the bindweed alone.  Bindweed only flourishes when you pull it, and the roots can reach as deep as 30 feet; it brings deep minerals into the top soil.  Sunflowers break up this tough Colorado soil and aerate it.  Lamb's quarters when striplings are tasty in omelets, and dandelions feed early bees and other beneficials.  I also plant wildflowers between my crops.

So, though I have garden beds and water and weed and I cultivate pumpkins and beans and tomatoes and other known vegetables, I keep weeds.  I protect them.  They provide diversity, strengthening the local ecosystem and feeding bees, of which especially now we can never have too many.

My yard is teeming with bees and wasps and butterflies and goldfinches and chickadees and doves and crows and magpies and blackbirds and sparrows and mice and snakes and spiders and beetles and grasshoppers and slugs and squirrels and hawks.  The wild threads are woven throughout.  It's a diverse home for plant life.  It's a happy place for lots and lots of wildlife to feed, find water and shelter, and to rest safely.

But it's not neat.

No comments:

Post a Comment