I never trust a garden that's too tidy. Places like that worry me.
Part of this distrust comes from being an unrepentant slob, and having an ingrained suspicion of excessive neatness. (It's just not natural!)
And part of this is discomfort springs from my sense that overly-groomed gardens are wastelands, when it comes to wildlife.
If every flower is clipped off before it goes to seed, and every insect is eradicated, what will the songbirds have to eat? If every hollowed out tree is chopped down, where will the owls and woodpeckers raise their families?
I was walking down our driveway this afternoon, with a bucket of water from our greywater system (a fancy name for the spillover from the washing machine), when I spotted a pair of tiny Lesser Goldfinches in the strip of lawn that I call "The Meadow." (Nevermind that the neighbors probably call it the "Godforsaken Weed Patch.") This is a little strip of land that's decidedly difficult to mow, and which I left alone ever since I saw native bees enjoying the hawkweed flowers. It has been my plan to slowly add more wildflowers to this part of my lawn, with the hopes of providing food for the birds and the bugs. But until then, I'll be happy that the Goldfinches -- which in my mind are such a rural bird -- are enjoying the weed seeds.
So why not embrace a bit of messiness? Why not let the flowers go to seed? You might just be providing a much needed meal for a tiny wild creature.