What does it take to have a beautiful yard?

Very simple. A beautiful yard takes hard work or money!

Front YardI just came in from toiling in my yard. Obviously, I don’t have the money or somebody else would be toiling away in my place. When I bought my little house (854 sq. ft.), I had no idea how much yard work it would entail. Whereas it takes me little more than 2 hours to thoroughly clean my house, it takes days and weeks to maintain my yard even though it probably isn’t more than 2000 sq. ft. with about 850 sq. ft. of that being grass.

This year I laid down about an inch of compost. With a warm and wet spring, everything grew gigantic. Thus, there was and is still a significant amount clipping, pruning, replanting, mowing, weeding and everything else you having to do with gardening. Somehow when I bought my place I thought: “Small house, small lot, little work.”  Yeah, right. The only way to avoid the yard work is to move into a hi-rise condo.

Last year I was literally tied to my house. With persistently hot weather, everything in the Shade Gardengarden needed watering literally on a daily basis. Even so, a lot of things didn’t make it through the near month of 90-degree+ days. If I left the house for more than two days, I had to pay someone to come and water everything.  That didn’t set particularly well with me, so I installed a drip irrigation system that solved the problem, and it was a whole lot cheaper than an underground sprinkler system. Now I can leave for weeks and not have to worry about plants dying from thirst. Of course the grass still needs mowing, but fortunately it only takes 15 minutes from start to finish. I can afford to hire than out.

Is the sometimes back-breaking work worth it? Today I think it is. Tomorrow when my bones are aching I may feel different. But as I look out on my petite domain on a picture perfect summer day, I can’t imagine what I’d do without it. The beautiful bouquets of flowers on my table, the abundance of lettuce all summer long, the hummingbirds and mourning doves greeting me in the morning, the peace and serenity of nature — yes, it’s worth it.

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