Or is it just beautiful as it is? We are talking gardens here and I really do wonder whether we have become so obsessed with weeds (so called) that we spend far too long going over the borders and trimming the lawn edges and not enough time actually enjoying the scene.
Some years ago Mirabel Osler wrote a book called 'A Gentle Plea for Chaos' and I thought about it yesterday as I walked down the Lane.
In the distance of about a quarter of a mile I saw, along the verges, stitchwort, buttercups, early purple orchids, red campion, cow parsley, wood avens and ladies' bedstraw. They were growing in the roadside grass, pushing their way through to the light and producing the most beautiful effect.
Osler believed that the very soul of a garden was destroyed by what she called 'shrivelled and zealous regimentation'. Maybe, to some extent, that time has passed. Surely, apart from Parks and Gardens planting, nobody uses a ruler these days to bed out rows of salvias or petunias? But that doesn't mean that most gardeners don't go round zealously cursing and digging up what they choose to call weeds.
Have you looked closely at a buttercup? Have you stood in amazement on a bright sunny day and marvelled at a field full of them? Why should they be so very beautiful, lift the heart in fact, in a meadow and yet so hated in a garden?
Ronald Blythe, the author who himself has a couple of acres of garden and is now well over ninety, has a very laid back attitude to the whole thing. He leaves red campion, cow parsley and buttercups where they choose to grow, not removing them until they have finished flowering and set seed for next year. He calls it 'The Giverney Effect'
This is not a plea for all gardeners to have wild gardens. There is an old joke about a man in his garden and a visitor remarking how wonderful God was in the garden. He replies that the visitor should have seen the garden when God had it to himself.
Neither is this a plea for roadside verges to be left untended. They would become a hazard when it was no longer possible to see oncoming traffic.
But moderation in all things would seem to be the order of the day. Both in our gardens and in our roadside verges, couldn't we just use a little discrimation - perhaps leaving plants until they had seeded for next year? Anyone who has driven along a roadside during May has surely marvelled at the thousands of golden dandelion discs lining their route, and (because the dandelions are not in their garden) remarked at their beauty.
So let us please try to follow Osler's idea of a Gentle Plea for Chaos.