This Wild Place


What started as a neat and tidy garden years ago has evolved into some sort of wild mess– a tangle of vines and flowers with vegetables sprinkled in for good measure. Years ago, the sight of this chaos would have given me an anxiety attack; yet now, the garden… and other things … are allowed to work their way into the entropy inevitable to all natural things. 


These other things: a spotless house, a tidy yard, walls free from scuff marks and fingerprints, a floor free from dust bunnies and short stiff white dog hairs. These other things: thoughtful, provoking articles lined up all neat in a row ready to be published somewhere else (somewhere more orderly?), clean towels that smell fresh as a breeze and are of course folded in some sort of method allowing those who need them to identify them as so.

These other things.



And yet…





Within this mess, within this wild place, things have grown and flourished. Flowers have yielded to apples and peaches (never mind that the squirrels and jays enjoyed every last one of those beautiful peaches), tiny bright purple blossoms have transformed into beautiful long purple beans, or shiny black eggplants. Minuscule seeds scattered by accident became the best carrot patch we have ever grown. The tomatoes that we had completely given up on (it was too wet, too hot– they kept rotting) have finally come through in abundance.


I wasn’t proud of our garden this year, not by a long shot. It didn’t look the way I had hoped. And hope is a funny thing. Hope can blind you, can shade your eyes from the goodness in front of you if your expectations are too rigid. Sometimes expectations need to change. Sometimes we need to see the success amidst the chaos. It isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly good.

6 thoughts on “This Wild Place”
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  1. I love the photos accompanying this post, Lauren.

    I don’t have a vegetable garden, but I do have quite a few perennial beds and about mid-July, when the heat is sweltering, I always say to myself that I will do better next year. Next year…

  2. This really rings true for me. I had a vegetable garden that largely failed this year. We live in the desert southwest and keeping non-native plants alive is incredibly difficult. We planted several native shrubs and watching them flourish without much care was the saving grace of the season. Sometimes things fail for reasons outside our control and I’ve learned over the past few years not to fight against nature.

  3. Gardening intrigues me and scares me. I feel like I don’t have the time to garden – that by the time I can get into the garden on the weekends, things will be out of control or dead. This is probably irrational, but it’s also the way I see gardening right now.

    We’re trying to change our mindsets on this. Have you visited the Food Roof downtown?

    We are structuring our new carriage house roof and addition roof to create our own food roof garden(s). They won’t be as large as this one, but I’m hoping that we’ll be inspired to grow more things at home once the project is complete. So maybe I’ll have a wild roof garden this time next year! And if it gets out of control, I can just ignore it because it’s above me!

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