It was actually the garden fairies who posted in late August about my plan to spend an hour a day every day in my garden doing something—weeding, deadheading, mowing.
I’ve just finished my 38th consecutive day of this “hour a day” plan.
Yep, I haven’t missed a day, though occasionally, I have modified my definition of what an hour in the garden is. For example, one day it rained nearly all day, but I gave myself credit for that day because in between raindrops, I managed to plant two new shrubs in front and I watered and cleaned up the houseplants.
And I gave myself credit for another day when I spent the hour helping my garden club tend a little garden area we’ve adopted at the park where we meet.
To keep track of the days and keep myself motivated, I mark an X through each day on a simple hand-drawn calendar after I complete my hour or so of gardening.
It is surprising what that little X does for me. Even on days when the weather wasn’t good or I was busy or whatever, I still managed to get out there in the garden and earn my X. (Credit to the comedian Jerry Seinfeld who used this method to write a new joke every day.)
Looking back, I realize that though I didn’t think I did much on any particular day, I managed to make some real dents in several garden “issues.”
I moved edging stones all around so now the front beds are nicely edged and the path through another garden border in the back is better defined. By the way, I call that path Ridgewood Avenue. On the one side is a prairie-style garden that is rapidly being shaded out. The mum pictured above, which I think is ‘Sheffield’, is in too much shade so I’ve made a note on my Trello board to move it next spring. I don’t know if I would have noticed it without spending that hour a day in the garden.
I also dug out a big patch of Amsonia, blue dogbane, that was growing wider and wider each year in the perennial border I call Plopper’s Field. When I told Dee about that on a recent episode of The Gardenangelists podcast, she was suitably impressed. Blue dogbane has deep roots! But over two days of steady digging—not over an hour each day— I managed to at least make it look like it was gone.
We’ll find out in the spring how much I actually managed to remove completely. I’m already planning for a re-dig in that area before I plant anything else there.
I also started pulling out the groundcover, Vinca minor, which consumes a border on the north and east corner of my house. I’ve completed two rounds of pulling it out and so far have filled two trash bags with the stuff. Ugh. It is so thick in some areas it swallowed up some hostas which are probably lost forever.
And just like the blue dogbane, we’ll find out next spring how much I actually pulled out. I’m planning for a re-pulling of the vinca as it comes up next spring.
On and on it goes. Chipping away at weeds, moving some plants around, cutting back a bit, readjusting edges, and of course, mowing and trimming.
One hour a day!
Chris W says
You are an inspiration. Every time I see your blog post, I say to myself. I should do that!! An hour a day would be so much easier than waiting until my friend comes on the weekend and then we tackle the yard and it takes 5 hours and then, because I am old, it takes the wind out of my sails for the next two days. You are my hero…and you did plant a seed.
Chris, happy to have been helpful!
Dee Nash says
You’re so smart to do this. An hour a day keeps the weeds away.~~Dee
Sharon @ Laurelhurstcraftsman says
Fantastic work. I wish I had the discipline to spend an hour in the yard everyday. We have so much deferred maintenance.
I love this idea Carol – I’m going to adopt it for myself next year!