Everything you know about gardens was probably passed down to you — directly or indirectly — from an old English lady. Plants, we’ve been told, should be organized in prim little rows and decorated with trellises and tidy gravel paths. Gardens, they say, should be well planned, vigilantly tended, and strenuously weeded. They require time and energy and resources.
We’re here to tell you to put down the hoe, put away the map you labored over, and redirect those controlling impulses into cleaning out the garage or alphabetizing your record collection. A wilder garden is a lot less work — no staking, weeding, or compulsive watering — and it’s a lot better for your wallet and the environment (imagine what those expensive bags of pesticides are doing to the stream behind your house).
So, learn to trust your compost heap and let the vines climb where they may. Let vegetables and herbs compete and, more important, complement each other. Basically, just sit back and watch what happens when you get out of the way and let nature take over.