The Importance of Being a Lackadaisical Gardener

Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Of this I am reminded every morning when I take my dog for a walk or spend time in my garden. And one way I often complicate my life is overthinking what needs to be done in my garden, especially with care and maintenance. Luckily, I’ve become an advocate of a messy garden, especially in the fall when there is a rush to ‘clean up the garden’. I’ve now taken a more lackadaisical approach, which if you have received my emails or followed me on social media you already know this to be the case.

Here's a photo from my fall/winter garden. It’s a picture of aster seed heads. Asters are one of the last plants to flower in my gardening zone in the upper Midwest, that is late fall. And as with my other flowers, I leave my asters to go to seed to feed the birds and other animals in the winter.

Aster Seeds in the Fall and Winter Garden


Also, if I cut down my garden plants in the fall, I am essentially killing many of the eggs of those much-needed beneficial insects and pollinators. These creatures lay their eggs on the leaves of the flowers in my garden. And it is absurd to spend energy all summer attracting these insects to the garden only to destroy the spring rebirth from their eggs.


Another benefit to all of this is free plants. Since I want more flowers to transplant and give away to gardener friends and family, I want to promote seeds for volunteers. As a gardener, I thoroughly enjoy seeing which volunteer plants come in spring. And how is that for commitment to upcycling?


Lastly, in the middle of winter when I need some inspiration for art, the seeds and stems are the perfect muse, providing a new way of seeing my garden.
Wishing you happy, messy gardening, no matter what the season. And if you don’t garden, wishing you much enjoyment from whatever creative endeavor you choose!

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