Wednesday, October 7, 2009

That's why they call it yard work



Kneeling in my gravel driveway, digging up dandelions with a dandelion fork.

That's yard work.

Raking up needles dropped by the 60-foot Ponderosa pine.

Yard work.

Gardening is different! I happily snap my secateurs like castanets as I march out for a spot of dead-heading and pruning. All things seem possible, now that the weather is no longer scorch-your-skin-off hot.

But yard work makes me tired just thinking about it.

What's your garden task that is never fun and always yard work?

To leave a comment, click on the word COMMENTS below

32 comments:

Grace Peterson said...

Thank you DP! I thought I was the only one that dreads certain tasks and censures myself for being so confounded lazy. LOL For me the most dreaded task is tackling the leaf-fall from the three gargantuan Sweet Gum trees in my front yard. Unfortunately it's not as easy as rake, bundle into wheelbarrow and haul to backyard area where I let them decompose. The dang trees start losing leaves in mid November and won't be finished until the end of January. So every single time I rescue the lawn from oxygen and sunlight deprivation, in short order a fresh dumping has completely nullified my efforts. Not gardening at all! But it is a good workout.

Daffodil Planter said...

Grace, And just what are you and I doing up at this hour, when we should be sleeping and gaining strength to rake, rake, rake? The crummy maples in front here must get the same newsletter as your Sweet Gums. They drop just enough leaves at a time to require clean-up. We always hope that a quick lawn mow will do the trick. Slow learners!

Laura Livengood Schaub said...

The yard work I used to hate, avoid, and try whenever possible to get someone else to do was mow and edge the lawn.

Now that the lawn is gone, I'd say that moving plants is the task I like least...I don't like to disrupt things and I hate digging big holes.

But give me a nice straggly perennial or overgrown shrub to edit, and I'm in heaven!

Greensparrow said...

Edging. I hate edging beds. I'll weed, deadhead, plant, dig, prune, ANYTHING but edge.

Daffodil Planter said...

Laura, I agree, digging is HARD. Maybe it's a guy thing?

Welcome Greensparrow! A guy from Michigan who doesn't mind digging. Hmm. You make two votes against edging. Adding your nice blog to the blogroll!

Susan Morrison said...

Weeding. Which is why I have so many because I never quite seem to get to it.

Not that you asked, but my FAVORITE garden chore by far is making a list of jobs for my husband to do.

Town Mouse said...

Oh, I don't know. Usually, I'm just happy to be outside. Yes, some things get tiresome after a while, but doesn't everything? As I rake the leaves, I can always dream of the next thing to plant, or listen to the birds. And when I'm fed up, I go get a cup of tea and take a break.

Daffodil Planter said...

Susan, I see. Your favorite gardening activity is getting someone else to do the work? The designer wears her designer hat even at home!

Town Mouse, C'mon over to my house! I'll brew the tea.

Susan Reimer said...

Sweeping the street and weeding the sidewalk. My husband says it is part of being a grown-up and a good neighbor. Funny. I am the one that gets stuck doing it.

Kari Lønning said...

Dividing GIGANTIC hostas. I am so loath to do it, that they're out there looking very Victorian-gardenish.

Brown Thumb Mama said...

I don't mind digging up dandelions or even @#&% nutgrass. But the bug-smooshing really gets me. Thankfully I have a 4-year-old to dispatch the tomato and cabbage worms!

lawremc said...

Deadheading. I know it needs to be done but there are always so many more fun things to do that all that time spent snipping coreopis or gaura spent bloooms.

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Susan Reimer! Your husband and Susan Morrison are on the same page of the gardener's manual.

Welcome Kari Lonning! The hostas sound scary to me too!

Welcome Brown Thumb Mama! Dispatch as in smash, or as in smash 'n swallow?

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome lawremc! Wow, you have really high standards--I don't deadhead coreopsis or gaura until the bitter end of the season. I'm impressed!

Sarah from Toronto Gardens said...

For me, it's planting bulbs, hands down.

Deadheading I actually love, weeding I can get into, but digging up those fiddly little holes to add a few bulbs here and there, *especially* when I know the squirrels are going to eat most of them before they even bloom. Well, you really have to be an optimist. And really MAKE yourself do it. Plus, it's the end of the season and I'm fed up with the garden by then.

The potential payoff is big though. So then I suffer the guilt if I DON'T do it. How many times have I bought bulbs in those magnificent packages with all the best intentions. Then let them sit....unplanted.

Kelly Senser said...

Sod removal is never fun, but each year we take on this yard work in order to reduce the size of our lawn. Worth the effort. I'm fascinated by the birds, insects and other critters drawn to the wildlife-friendly plants that replace the turf.

GartenGrl at Cool Garden Things said...

Hmmmm...never fun...I would have to say that picking up sticks off of peoples lawns is perhaps my least fav-Oh! And cutting down the lilly leaves when they start to look tired-Oh! Anything that involves kneeling on concrete is kind of not fun...do not like to spray round up either...that about does it really-love everything else!
GartenGrl

Yvonne @ Country Gardener said...

At this time of the year, I would have to say all of them. But I guess deadheading is the one I always get the "under gardeners" to do. (I'm the head gardener here.)

Daffodil Planter said...

Sarah, I can't just let that comment go on by, not with my pen name. Narcissi are poisonous and the squirrels won't eat them. Cages for tulip bulbs do work. Fiddly holes are a perfect description--any chance you can dig big holes with a shovel and then layer in some narcissi and muscari for a nice show? Not sure if muscari work in your zone, but both are deer-proof so I assume squirrel-proof. For those leftover bulbs, how about containers or indoor forcing? See, I didn't even leave you in peace with your complaint. Now someone will tell me how much fun it is to dig up dandelions.

Welcome Kelly! What a worthy garden chore!

Debra Lee Baldwin said...

I used to loathe spraying the stone fruit trees with nasty chemicals to keep the fruit pristine come summer. So I simply stopped doing it. Haven't noticed a huge difference.

Kat said...

I hate anything that involves digging in soil that hasn't been amended. It takes a pick to break up the clay from late spring until the winter rains. I can weed until the cows come home, pick off slugs and hornworms with my bare hands, even prune the hedges without a second thought. But when it comes to digging a hole, I always think twice and then sigh.

Heather said...

Hi DP! I must admit that my least favorite chore is the tidy job for winter. It all seems so depressing. Knowing all my hard work and effort will be burried under 4 feet of snow in no time at all makes me want to cry but after winter in Idaho, it also makes me very happy to see spring. Renewed and rejuvenated! Great post and motivation for the lazy in all of us!

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome GartenGirl! I agree, picking up sticks is only fun when one is a child and very close to the ground.

Welcome Yvonne! Adding your lovely Country Gardener blog to the international blog roll. Aren't you fortunate to have an under gardener? I think my gardening pooch would take that title here.

Debra Lee, Brilliant reframe of a garden chore. Just DON'T do it!

Kat, I go nuts when I read about gardeners who can plant with their bare hands in friable soil. Maybe someday my soil will be like that?

Heather, Fall is a mixed bag for garden chores. Lots of work, better weather in which to do the jobs.

gardeningafterfive said...

My least favorite work is cutting down ornamental grass - the big ones. After swaddling myself in long sleeves, pants, gloves,and goggles, those grasses STILL manage to get everywhere and scratch me up! Hmmm...maybe it's the chainsaw making those lil' bits fly.

joene said...

My least favorite chore is the, at times violent, violet vanquish routine I have to go through each spring and fall. If I miss just one season, those lovely little plants with heart shaped leaves and dainty violet blossoms that I so welcome each spring will COMPLETELY TAKE OVER every perennial bed!

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Gardening After Five! Yowzah, that sounds like some grass! One more reason for me to resist planting them. P.S. I can't link to your blog tonight but will do so soon.

Joene, Very glad for your victory!

Yardlover said...

Am I the only one who hates mowing? Back and forth endlessly, all noise and no entertainment, and with every pass I'm noticing all the OTHER garden chores that need doing; my list grows longer as I mow!

Grace Peterson said...

Hi DP~~ To answer your question about my collage #6. It's Houttunynia cordata or Cameleon Plant. Apparently it can be quite aggressive but I've never had an issue with it, probably because our summers are so dry and if it doesn't get regular water it's toast. I keep mine in a container. I love the orange lifesaver scent. Thank you for the kudos.

VW said...

Always work for me? Replanting whatever plant my youngest daughter has just pulled up. That always involves a bit of eye rolling on my part (I'm sure I'll get plenty of that back when she's a teenager).

Daffodil Planter said...

VW, Interesting how that particular task takes the wind out of your sails. Do you think she is a future horticulture major?

rebecca sweet said...

I'd have to say watering my containers by hand. I've got lots hooked up to irrigation, but some just have to be hand watered and I get SICK OF IT. Especially since we're in such a mild climate - it seems I never get a break!!

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Yardlover! My trick to get out of mowing is to say that I'm allergic to cut grass (well, it's actually true). You must have a big lawn to get tired of it! Watch out, the Lawn Reform gang will getcha.

Rebecca, Oh yes, hand watering is fine for the first half of the summer and then it's a chore.