The Birds and the Bees... And Other Wild Stuff

I have a section of the yard that I call the "wild" area.  It's not completely wild, of course, but it had been allowed to grow out of control when the last people that rented this house lived here.  For that matter, it may have been like that for an even longer period of time.  I really have no way of knowing.

At one point, raspberries had obviously been planted.  Raspberries have a tendency to shoot up in surprising new places every year if they're not carefully controlled, however, so the plants growing in this section have taken to re-planting themselves wherever they see fit.

I like this.

Don't misunderstand... I enjoy a well kept yard just as much as anyone else.  I also, however, enjoy the idea of allowing a section to go wild. 

Wild sections give the local bugs, birds, and other animals a more welcoming habitat than something that's well manicured.  Setting aside one portion of your yard and allowing nature to take its course sends a message to local wildlife.  It's a message of safety, security, and abundance.  It's like a big 'Welcome' mat for your yard.

**More wild = more wildlife = less work + sustainable design.**

The bugs brought in by your wild section help to pollinate your crops.  Birds come to the wild section to eat the bugs, thereby providing pest control.  Both bugs and birds work together to feed and/or aerate the soil, producing more wild plants, which in turn restarts the cycle.

What this means is less work for you.  Pollination is handled nicely, and the birds provide you with money-saving pest control.  Add in the fact that many of the bugs that are drawn in actually prefer the taste of weeds to food crops, and you keep the unwelcome varieties of insect visitors to a minimum.

One really big bonus to having a wild section in your yard is that bees actually enjoy wildflowers that spring up.  These wildflowers (called weeds by most people) are a great beacon for anyone that wishes to call bees into their garden. 

One wildflower that bees have a very strong love for is the dandelion.  Yep.  That plant that most people hate can actually be your best friend if you allow it to be.  Not only that, but its leaves are great in salads.  You can make wine from the flowers (if you collect enough of them), and their roots can be used to make dye for cloth.  The milk from the stem is also said to be a great wart treatment. 

Still hate dandelions?  I sure don't. 

Allow yourself the opportunity to let one section of your yard to grow wild, even if it's only a tiny area a couple of feet across.  It'll decrease the amount of work you do, and increase the overall health of your garden.  Total win.