Monday, October 11, 2010

A Wild Garden

My yard is a mess.  I can never control the Bermuda grass.  I let the sunflowers grow wildly (even though I pull up tons of seedlings) because in the fall, the finches flock to eat the seed.  I have some native milkweeds that I let grow because they attract butterflies.  I rarely use any pesticides or do much of anything to control the insects.  While the yard does attract the birds and butterflies it also attracts bees, wasps and ants.  This year I have been stung three times by flying creatures and I can't even remember how many ant bites I've suffered through.  I finally had to kill a huge wasp nest that hung on the roof of my porch endangering access to both of my doors.  Just today I was stung by one of the bees that were foraging in the vegetables and taking advantage of a late season drink of the hummingbird feeders.

Each time I decide to kill something, its a rather agonizing decisions.  I hate buying the chemicals because they are both a large expense and then a burden when the unused portion sits on my shelf for years after.  There are few ways to get rid of them safely.

I try hard to avoid the creatures and give them space.  When you have a wild garden you have to make a choice.  Will you accept nature as it is or will you make the decision about what you preceive as good or bad.

 So what is good and what is bad?  The line is blurred.  Wasps are great predators that eat many insects the damage my vegetable plants.  I rarely have insect problems with my vegetables.  The bees are pollinators and are crucial to providing me with fruits and vegetables.  The ants are engines of soil rejuvenation.  I choose to give them all the benefit of the doubt and have learned to live with them...most of the time...... even if I have to put up with a few stings and arrows.

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