Wildflowers, or Weeds?

No sooner had I decided to change my blog name to Wildflowers & Wings when this happened: My backyard neighbour asked if I could keep my weeds to myself.

I live in a subdivision, houses on all sides of me, but my backyard is relatively spacious. Because it’s a lot of work, and because I’d rather go to the beach than spend all summer maintaining a lawn, I fenced in only a portion for my dog and let the back grow in. The bonus is that it grows wild; by late summer it is filled with growth and is swarming with bees. To my eye, this is a picture paradise. To my neighbour’s, apparently, it is unsightly.

I suppose I can see her point. It’s an unkempt mishmash of whatever seeds happen to spread that season. But it is far behind her lot, and her hired lawn tractor takes care of any overgrowth in seconds (unlike, for instance, my push mower powered by my own muscle). So maybe for those inclined to groomed lots and weedless lawns, it might seem a bit too wild. (I only hope it grows thicker and taller and someday becomes a lush forest between my land and hers.)

Here’s the thing: I had no idea what my rights were, and I had no desire to create any conflict. So I mused about it and said I’d look into it. Sometimes it pays to be nice. It turned out she had lost her husband and her son within 6 months of each other. She is an older lady, suddenly finding herself living alone. Maybe focusing on a few inches of growth at the edge of her property was less painful than focusing on her empty house.

I checked and found out there is nothing I am required to do. In fact, there isn’t much I can do that wouldn’t involve an excavator and a whole lot of cash. But I choose compassion instead of aggravation, so I’ll do my best to keep the line neat. And inside that line, I’ll sit with my camera among the wildflowers.

In this growing season, I hope your neighbours are kind, and your weeds mind the line. I hope you find the wildflowers among the weeds.


Published by Wildflowers & Wings

Writer, photographer, teacher, mom, finding her way one magical moment at a time.

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