In simple terms, when you allow the land you live upon to be more wild, you create a yarden. It is easy to do if you think about becoming a friend to the land you care for. In other words, you don’t try to control it, more that you enter into a healthy relationship with the land.

There is no one way a yarden “should” look, yet there are some practices that are a must.

  1. There are no pesticides used. The plants, animals, soil micro-organisms, ecosystem are all negatively impacted by poisons. In fact, we all are. It is a must to keep your land/water poison free to be healthy and to have a yarden.
  2. You must be able to allow for a give and take with the land, just like any relationship. In other words, you still may maintain AND allow for the plants to be where they want to grow. That may mean choosing not to weed or choosing not to weed some areas. If you are the only one in control and make all of the decisions, you are not in right relationship with the land and it is not a yarden.

Other than that, there are no rules. No relationship is exactly the same. You may be one that talks to your plants. You may be one that listens for the right plant to plant itself in your yarden or find some flowers to plant that feel right for the land.

Your reason for having a yarden may not be the same as others either. Perhaps you provide safe food for bees and other pollinators. Maybe you recognize the true medicine in the native plants that grow on the land. Maybe you are simply too tired or sick of spending money and “let your yard go” and it has become a yarden. There are no right or wrong reasons to have a yarden! The more the merrier!

The benefits are amazing of a yarden though. You may find yourself with more time since you are not spending hours manicuring your yard or garden. You may find some new animal or plant friends who provide hours of fun, comfort and entertainment. You will find your soil microbes become healthier each year, though you may not even be aware. One of my favorite benefits to my yarden is the sparklebums (lightning bugs) in the summer! Wow! As my yard became more wild and turned into a yarden, I have more and more sparklebums hanging out and making my evening time on the porch so much more enjoyable!

If you are interested in creating a yarden and looking for some help, let me know at melissabeemorningstar@gmail.com . I work with school groups to design yardens on their property with the students.