Notes from a Novice Gardener: Let it be

Our novice gardener has affection for long, unkempt grass, bushy overgrowth and out-of-control weeds.

Credit: Flickr / holisticmonkey

I used a weed whacker for the first time this weekend. It wasn’t because we needed to clean up the edges of our lawn or because we had some hefty weeding to do along the fence; no, it was because we had let our grass grow over two feet. Yes, over two feet.

How embarrassing, some of you may be thinking, while you wonder how we could’ve allowed it to grow so long. And you wouldn’t be the only ones thinking this. We had a number of friends offer to mow our lawn for us, and we got many looks from neighbours walking by.

Long, unkempt grass, along with bushy overgrowth and out-of-control weeds are usually associated with run-down, abandoned-looking houses. But I have to wonder why nature at its naturiest has gotten such a bad rap. There are reasons to let nature be, just like there are reasons to take control.

Let nature be:

It’s easier. For those that don’t enjoy gardening and don’t have the money to hire anyone, they should be able to let the wild do as it will without getting looks from the neighbours. Plus I’ve never heard of someone pulling their back while they sat back and watched the grass grow.

Weeds can be pretty. My roommate called me out to see the “really nice vine” that took over the back corner of the garden. That really nice vine with the white bell-shaped flowers is morning glory, and I’m guessing it will invade as much of the garden as it can, no matter what I do. Besides the fact that it has invaded the veggie patch, I don’t think “really nice vine” looks all that bad. 

Long grass is comfortable. Next time you get a chance, lay a blanket out on grass that’s taller than a foot. It’s soft, keeping you elevated off the hard ground, and the airflow keeps you cool. Children and animals especially love playing in it, too.

It’s a never-ending conflict. You pull. It grows. You trim. It grows more. You plant. It dies. I say, if it wants to grow, let it grow. A garden is beautiful even if it’s just a bunch of dandelions.

I understand my view of letting nature go wild do cause some problems. For instance what was going to be a veggie patch is pretty much a dandelion breeding ground, and when we finally got around to cutting the grass it took way too much time.

Perhaps I am getting a bit lazy—and perhaps I think weeds can be beautiful because they’re the only thing that will actually grow in my garden. But, that aside, there is no need to judge an unkempt, overgrown garden. We should applaud Mother Nature for taking care of herself and the gardener for letting it be.