May 22 • 07:32 PM

Crazy idea about going wild

August 20, 2008
In my quest to find the positive things in life, I have discovered that there's something really nice about not having a weed whacker.

Sure, the overgrown, abandoned house look isn't exactly aesthetically pleasing—that's a negative.

Having to dig out the old hand trimmers that make me feel like I'm cutting my so-called lawn with a pair of scissors isn't what I'd call positive, either.

And there's the familiar overwhelming amount of trimming that should be done because it used to be done that assaults my eyeballs every time I look outdoors. That's nothing to write home about, I'll be the first to admit.

However, I must say that there's a certain wild and natural beauty in overgrown crabgrass—truly. The broad, glossy leaves actually resemble some sort of exotic deep green plant when left alone to reach gargantuan proportions.

There's also the thistle that seems to want to grow around the trees. The huge dusty seafoam colored stalks topped with the prickly looking purple balls are actually quite attractive. Speaking of prickly, even those crazy cacti-resembling dandelion-type plants covered in angry looking thorns that sprout up near my brick walkway are interesting in a sort of Arizona-ish way.

Then there's the Queen Anne's lace, something I've grown quite fond of because it's grown quite fond of growing everywhere near the places I can't get close enough with the lawn mower. I've actually purposefully steered even farther away from the patches near the trees and ditches and whatnot to let more of it grow. The interesting plant so appropriately named is pretty, and it's white, which really attracts the eye and adds some interest to the landscape. How's that for looking on the positive side?

These days I've noticed some goldenrod where my husband Rod used to weed whack. Is that irony or symbolism? Its French's mustard color says "wake up" to the eyes. It's a sunny oasis in a vast sea of green.

Perhaps best of all, though, is the swamp milkweed that's sprouted up around the edge of the pond and in the front ditch. It's another plant that looks somewhat like a succulent—sturdy round stem, fat thickly veined leaves—and it's a magnet for butterflies.

The monarchs lay eggs on it so the caterpillars have an instant breakfast when they hatch out. The starburst type cluster of deep pink flowers are fragrant, and they too attract butterflies of all types. Every time I pull up in my driveway, instead of seeing dreadful untended tall weeds, I see a colorful plant and many fluttering butterflies swarming around it.

I see delicate looking Queen Anne's lace swaying slowly in the breeze. I see tall grass gone to seed—it's bronze almost. All this I see because I don't have a weed whacker.

I know polished landscapes with tidy edges are very appealing to many people, and until circumstances dictated otherwise I was one of them. There is something very satisfying about sitting out on the deck after doing a bunch of outdoor chores—mowing, trimming, weeding, weed whacking—and everything looks so nice and neat. Ordered. Orderly.

These days, though, I've noticed a certain beauty that disorder brings. A wildness that makes sense to the universe, and to me now that I'm getting used to it. It is a place where nature dwells and does its own thing, oblivious to the whims and/or desires of man and his weed whacker.

Lately every time I pass by an overgrown field I notice more beauty. Colors and contrasts swaying in the breeze. Wild and free nature untouched and unmolded. I toy with the idea of letting my whole so-called front lawn grow in and think I would probably like it, though years ago I would have thought it was a crazy idea. Absolutely wild, like my landscape...

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Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 22 - 19
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