We just got back from a little getaway. So much to catch up on like laundry, but yesterday morning I spent four hours working in my yard. After seeing the gorgeous gardens all over Santa Barbara I was motivated to get back there and clear things out. I could have worked out, but this was far better than a workout. I challenge anyone to give up working out one day a week and do a few hours in the yard. It’s a fantastic workout for the legs, back, arms and core. Seriously.
We used to have a ‘gardener.’ I use that term lightly as these gentlemen were more what I call, the mow and blow guys. It was questionable what they actually did besides make a lot of noise and blow dirt around. I saw then occasionally clip things. Yes they mowed. Occasionally they would hack something to nothing to my horror, usually one of my favorite plants. I was nice to these guys who had a limited grasp of English, but no horticultural skills at all. They also insisted on spraying weed killer in my yard, which I repeatedly asked them not to. I love having frogs, lizards and all the good things a yard needs and those poisons hurt birds too. Finally one day I returned home and they had hacked away a very old vine I loved. That was it. I finally said goodbye to them.
Now my sons do the lawn and weed pulling. It’s really how it should be. They put plants in for me and sweep up when I ask them. Teenagers need to experience more physical labor jobs! They learn how to take care of plants and weed…These are all satisfying and a life skill. Not enough of those are being learned. Nothing worse than a man who has no clue about his own yard, or other home things. I don’t find it very appealing when a man has to hire someone for all his home tasks, but that is the kinds of people we are raising if we only focus on school as what kids need. They need both!
Anyway, it seems the gardeners did do a little… My back was about to snap after 20 trip to the green bin with leaves that were below my trees I hadn’t noticed. However doing it myself I saw there was an old David Austin rose back there getting swallowed up by a neighbor’s vine. I untangled it and noticed a few baby strawberry plants, some hidden bulbs trying to poke through, and buds of some other lovelies as well as a hole in the fence. I moved geraniums about, repotted a few things, threw out a ton of plants that had given up the ghost, and generally fluffed and cleaned. Something so satisfying about it all.
That was only half the yard. No time to barely clean up, I ran to do a ortho appointment for the teen, getting school supplies and then baking some promised cookies and tacos. I looked like a disaster, ruddy skin, crazy hair and all. My husband came home and said you look so pretty today. Seriously? He says he likes me like this. So gardening is not only good for the yard, but good for your looks? Not sure about that one, but I did feel great at the end of the day and slept like a rock.
I am lucky to have inherited the garden gene from my dad and grandmother. Dad had his first garden at 18 months old and is still growing beautiful flowers and organic vegetables at age 75. I think that’s why he and my grandmother are so healthy, she almost 98!
So tell me have you gardened lately? Would you give up a day of working out to work in the yard? I highly recommend it. You can’t think of anything. but what you are doing and it clears the mind too.