Bringing Wilderness Into a Suburban Garden

For many years, gardening has meant bringing order to nature by designing outdoor spaces to feature boxed-in plants and flowerbeds, clearly defined pathways and well-tended bushes and trees.  But there has been a movement of late to work with Mother Nature rather than against her, resulting in gardens that mix both tamed nature and nature that has been left to run wild.

Eco Friendly Garden
Eco Friendly Garden

Bringing the wilderness to a suburban garden has one overriding redeeming feature – it is eco-friendly.  Gardens that are too ordered can be less inviting to wildlife, so a garden with areas that are allowed to grow wild encourages animals and insects and helps the environment flourish.

For example, bee populations have been under threat in some countries for some time and a careful selection of plants will help their numbers to grow.  Bees are important to life itself, as without them, pollination becomes near impossible.

To create a little wilderness in a garden, it is necessary to plant a variety of plant species to appeal to a wide range of animals and insects, as well as to create visual interest.  A mixture of wild flowers, vines and trees, like a combination of lilacs, Boston ivy and Flamingo Ash-Leaved Maple trees, helps greatly in creating this ambience.  Long grasses provide habitats for egg-laying insects and invertebrates, and will encourage certain birds to visit for food.

It is an excellent idea to include water in a wilderness garden, as a pool or pond with plenty of water plants will attract a variety of wildlife, including frogs and toads, insects such as dragonflies and birds.  Garden owners might find rabbits, squirrels, and even deer visiting a garden with all these different, interesting features.

It is true that well-ordered gardens can be easier to maintain than wilderness gardens and they sometimes seem to demonstrate that an owner takes the time and effort needed to keep it so organized.  However, such gardens can easily slide into becoming hackneyed and tacky rather than pretty and elegant.  A garden left to become a little rough around the edges is often more appealing to people, who recognize the benefits of letting nature have its way.

Despite this, wilderness gardens do still require maintenance to stop invasive plants from taking over entirely.  More robust gardening equipment may also be needed to deal with the unrestrained plants and shrubs, such as those found at Pat’s Small Engine store.

Wilderness gardens are not good just for wildlife, but for the family too.  They provide plenty of different play areas for children, whose imaginations will surely be sparked by the unleashed landscape.  Tall grasses become a place for children to play hide and seek; a rocky section becomes a mountain for them to climb and a pond becomes a safari watering hole.

A garden with a wilder aspect can also serve as an education for children by exposing them to a variety of different wild species and how they breed, eat, and spend their time.  It also becomes a great tool for teaching them how to garden.

A suburban garden with a wilderness theme will create and improve wildlife habitats, entertain and educate children and add visual and fragrant interest to the home.