20 Minutes a Day

Em says that gardening is my way of making my mark on the world around me.

I tend to see the big picture – and plan big as well. But then the little things trip me up.

My shady herb garden

Recently that has been lots of land and LOTS of weeds sprouting up. Kind of…everywhere.

Bad weed, full of needles when it blooms!

Combine that with my plantar fasciitis flaring up and it can be tough. I WANT to clear up the weeds and move the plants, but I HURT, and who wants to be on their feet when it hurts that much?

As you can see, I still have a bit of work ahead of me. I have cleared a swath and immediately populated it with lilies and hostas.

A few weeks ago I came up with an idea. I would pick a spot in my yard and spend 20 minutes clearing it. I had no idea if it would work or if I would soon find myself with a machete, hearing the cry of the baboon as I hacked through weeds the size of houses.

The front yard of Cottage West

But I had to do something, and spending several hours working on it, followed by a week of bed rest and hobbling about did not seem to be cutting it.

I began working over on this incline behind Cottage West. It was filled with weeds, creeping charlie, and more. I transplanted around ten daylilies, iris and more and pulled weeds until the section looked good. This took several days of 20-minute sessions to complete.

A close up of the transplanted plants

I then moved on to the front of Cottage West, hoping to get the weeds out from the edges. The center of the tiny yard was then covered with landscaping fabric and mulch was placed on top.

Goodbye weeds! Hello landscaped, low-care front yard!

This little incline still needs a good ground cover, but it looks so much better than it did!

After that, I moved to the herb bed on the east side of our lots, right next to Cottage East’s front yard. There are some nasty weeds in the herb bed. Last year and the year before they “flowered” and produced thousands of these needle sized pokers that stuck to your clothes and of course spread themselves everywhere. I’m determined to not let them this year, so I am picking every one of the shallow rooted little crappers I find.

And now that Cottage East is ours, I want to address the front of the yard immediately. If a pretty, well-tended yard softens the blow to my neighbor at all, then I am ready for the task.

Look at this gorgeous tiger lily I found!

First up, clearing the weeds from the sides of the walkway AND laying a brick sidewalk down. So that’s on my “daily 20 minutes” until it is all done. I have several hostas transplanted already.

Perennials are the bomb. Plant them once, forget them until its time to divide them, or move them somewhere else. Right now my front yard is a breeding ground for perennials that I can now move elsewhere. I love it!

By next year, the yard will be blooming with hostas, columbine, hollyhock, and so much more. Keep watching, I guarantee you will like it!

Hostas in bloom

Just 20-30 minutes at least five days per week has really made a difference. It seems so small, but it has such a big effect.

I put in this gravel and brick path to the water spout on the side of our house a few weeks ago. It made reaching the water spout SO much easier!

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