Gardening with Nature

Working with Nature

Take time to know your property before you plant your garden. Sure go ahead, put in a kitchen garden and some herbs, but before you decide to put in flowers and go to the effort of maintaining a lawn; spend a few months observing what is growing there.

You may be surprised by what nature is gardening. Working with Nature rather than fighting her is very rewarding as the results can be quite striking and your efforts nurture the earth rather than deplete it.

This may give your lawn an untidy look at first and may displease your neighbours so check the municipal ordinances and see what you can get away with, and of course explain to your neighbours, family and friends, that you are not abandoning your property, but are interested in working with the plants that grow naturally on the site, in order to enhance its natural beauty.

A secondary benefit that derives from letting parts of your yard go, is that those areas will attract native wildlife, birds, bees, butterflies and beyond to the garden. These visitors can even help your garden grow.

common daisy

The common dasiy grows free along the fence, Bob Ewing photo
The common dasiy grows free along the fence, Bob Ewing photo

wild and free

along the fence just before the pine tree, Bob Ewing photo
along the fence just before the pine tree, Bob Ewing photo

a light trim please

Take time to know your property before you plant your garden. Sure go ahead a put in a kitchen garden and some herbs, but before you decide to put in flowers and maintaining a lawn; spend a few months observing what is growing there.

this may give your lawn an untidy look at first and may displease your neighbours so check the municipal ordinances and see what you can get away with, and of course explain to your neighbours, family and friends, that you are not abandoning your property, but are interested in working with the plants that grow naturally on the site, in order to enhance its natural beauty.

A secondary benefit that derives from letting parts of your yard go, is that those areas will attract native wildlife, birds, bees, butterflies and beyond to the garden. These visitors can even help your garden grow.

It is not a secret that I am no fan of lawns and one of the best aspects of my soon to be new home is a double yard, with a good chain link fence and no lawn at all. It is all gravel; how will that become a garden, well the short answer is containers but that is a hub for another time.

As I am renting the current residence there is only so much I can do to change the site, so the lawn stays. However, I have created a no-till bed behind the garage where I am experimenting with growing plants in straw and compost.

I do mow the lawn using a push mower which gives me a good workout. I do not cut an 18 inch border along the fence that runs along the side and back of the property. When we moved in last year I let a few spots grow wild, not enough to attract attention, although I did chat with a couple of my nearest neighbours and told them I was letting things grow as the lawn needed help which it did and does and I wanted to know what plants grew wild on the property so I could create a design that incorporated them.

This year when I reviewed my notes from last season, in March, I decided to leave the strip which would fill with native grasses, daisies, wild flowers and buttercups among other plants.

Once the growth has established itself, I use the weed trimmer, a battery operated one, to cut away the growth I do not want and leave behind the wild plants live the daises and buttercups.

The wild space needs trimming the heavy rains of the past few days have enabled the plants to grow rapidly and kept me from doing my share which is vital or the look gets too wild for most peoples’ comfort.


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Comments 8 comments

Joy At Home profile image

Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

I love the wildwood yard look. Unfortunately, the town I live in doesn't share my enthusiasm. :-)

Still, I get away with letting plenty of flowers and some very pretty weeds go.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Municipal ordinances can get in the way of some great gardens, still we do what we can. Thanks for dropping by.


Ceara 6 years ago

So I'm not the only one with a human-powered push mower! I think I get lots of funny looks from passers-by when they see me trying to mow our massive front lawn with a push mower. It is time consuming, but I feel better not using a gasoline mower. Plus I find the cut grass is much better for putting on the compost pile.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

When I cut the front lawn passerbys, even drivers look, the clippings go into the compost pile and some are tossed on the garden beds. Thanks for dropping by.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

I love the natural look. But I don't think it would go over well in my neighborhood. So I've been trying to use more native plants and go for a cultivated kind of wild.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

It is important to know what your neigbours and local bylaws will accept, before going native. Thanks for dropping by.


Didge profile image

Didge 4 years ago from Southern England

I must say I enjoyed your hub


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 4 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thank you, and good growing to you

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