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To enjoy nature more, get a little sloppy.

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I'm going to let you in on a little secret. It's okay to not edge your lawn. You can let your grass get a little shaggy. I know your HOA might say otherwise, but bear with me. The little ruffly edges to lawns that get mercilessly ground to nothingness are havens for scads of beneficial insects. I know most people have an innate aversion to spiders, I get that, but spiders are better at pest control than any exterminator. If you leave a little fringe of grass next to your house, it provides an excellent habitat for garden spiders. As these guys move into the area, most other bugs try to be somewhere else. You can keep your house bug-free without ever spraying a single chemical. Every time you squish or smash a spider, you are inviting all sorts of other bugs into your home. Let me ask you this, would you rather see a single, mildly discomfitting spider, or a plague of roaches? Your call. I know this is oversimplified and probably not an accurate analogy, but you get the point.

Out in your yard, the edging grows longer and longer as the summer progresses and it houses all sorts of invertebrate neighbors. As kids, we would hunt rolly-pollies all day long, searching under logs and rocks. The little guys need edge. Edge is what ecologists refer to as the boundary between the "wild" and the "civilized". The more edge, the more wildlife. Why are greenspaces such hot items in real estate? Duh, they harbor wildlife. Your yard can harbor wildlife as well, usually of a smaller variety. The "rougher" the yard, the more animals like it. We have mowed and pruned and shaped the wild to suit our aesthetics, it might be time to take a step back and look again at what is truly beautiful in the outdoors.

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