Here’s another one of those fun fads that have gone utterly viral. It might be even more ridiculous than “No Mow May,” 

Are you ready? Chaos gardening.

I might be late to the party, since it’s been going on for at least a few months, with prominence at last May’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and in a popular TikTok video of about the same vintage. (Don’t think for a second that I’ll be providing links to any of this crap. I am sure it can be easily googled.)

Anyway, the idea is as simple as it can be. Just gather up all your leftover seed packets, mix all the seeds together and throw them all over the place.

The one thing I will give this is that it is true to its name. Vegetable, flower, herb – it doesn’t matter. If even half the seeds germinate, assuming you have at least 25 half-full packs, you will indeed have quite a mess. Which is good, because that’s what chaos is supposed to be. Pick your definition, but “complete disorder and confusion” is as accurate as any.

Ah, but no. Many of the proponents of this style – according to articles I’ve scanned in BH&G and Ideal Home, to name two – have seen fit to add rules. They want you to thin varieties out, watch for diseases, amend your soil first, pay attention to sun and shade, choose native plants, avoid invasive ones, etc. etc.

Come on, people! You’re taking the chaos out! 

If it were me, providing I had a blank patch of ground, which I’d need to effectively sow chaos, I’d mix up a big bowl of seeds, scatter them and let ‘er rip. No watering, no thinning, no choosing. 

It would be fun. Nothing to do with gardening, of course, and, ideally, this would happen in a space apart from my actual garden. 

But for someone who wants a carefree garden or who is just starting out, this would be the last thing I’d recommend. It’s a recipe for frustration, annoyance, disappointment and, ultimately, the end of further gardening attempts.

I get it. Thankfully, I don’t write about gardening or style full-time, or I, too, might be grabbing at any silliness that came along just to have something new to talk about.

That’s not the case, so I’m free to just garden. I don’t let go of expectations. I try to make damn sure that what I expect will come to pass. Surprises and disappointments will always come, but it might be best not to try a strategy that ensures them.

There are no pictures of chaos gardening here, because the pictures in the articles I have seen are clearly carefully tended and planted spaces. So I’ve just included some images from my garden. Some people think it’s messy.