I don’t like messes. In fact, every day I spend many minutes, sometimes hours, cleaning clutter. While I’m not big on scrubbing, I am big on having clear surfaces to work on. For me, clear surfaces equal a clear mind.
I also love messes. I love the tactile experience of messy things, whether it’s glitter shaking onto a wacky craft project or the sensation of mucking about in clay or mud.
When it comes to my garden, I must confess that I do enjoy a feeling of order. I can be rather attracted to Zen gardens and overflowing cottage gardens alike. If they feel like they have an underlying feeling of order, I’m there.
It’s taken me a while to understand that nature’s “mess” has a much deeper purpose, and is in fact not a mess at all. Everything has a pattern. Damp-loving plants grow in damp places. Plants that love the sunshine thrive and bear fruit in sunny locations.
This year, I resolve to be even more comfortable with mess in my garden. I’m doing this for all of the plants and animals that thrive in this mess. Here’s what I will do.
1. I will keep and create rock and log piles, so that ground-nesting bees, spiders, and other invertebrates can take up residence. Reptiles and amphibians love these piles too.
2. I will mulch abundantly, so I create soil and create homes for creatures who will benefit my garden.
3. I will repurpose objects so that I don’t need to buy something that is made out of new resources. I already have several old chairs that act as pretty planters, and a play house made out of old wooden blinds. What else could I incorporate?
4. I will take a deep breath and realize that my garden doesn’t need to look perfect, and that perfection sometimes happens where there are useful weeds and a diversity of plant life that spills over the not-so-visible pathways, because those plants provide nectar for bees and hummingbirds and food and homes for all sorts of garden creatures.
Will you resolve to make a mess this year?
Image Credit: A Davey / CC by 2.0