Both Yards: Fifteen Minutes A Day

Our yard is starting to look beautiful, as it does mid-summer. We’ve been fortunate to have owned three properties in Wisconsin, all with good sized yards. One of these is our cabin, “up north” that sits on a lake. Most of that 2 acre lot is wooded. We’ve never lived there as a primary residence, although we could. Recently, we started cleaning the woods out – thinning tree seedlings, treating invasive brush, and forging some trails. It will take a while.

Garden Shed, built by my husband, at our “old” house. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2002.

But, our other two yards – the one at the house we live in now and the one at the house we lived before – have both been the recipient of years of hard work. In both yards, we planted a small home fruit orchard. In both yards, we had several perennial beds, border gardens, flowering trees, and shade trees.

Border Garden at our first house in WI. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2003

In both yards, we put in retaining walls and stone work. In both yards, monarch butterfly habitat was established with several types of milkweed and native nectar plants. In both yards, we planted some conifers. Both yards started out being carved out of farm fields and stood alone for years before other houses were built and we had neighbors. Both yards took work.

Border Garden in front of house. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2021

But, here’s the thing…we learned that 15 minutes a day spent weeding keeps the yard in good shape. The yard we have now is 3.25 acres. You might not believe me that 15 minutes a day is all it takes. But, it is! This doesn’t include grass cutting or trimming or treating the fruit trees, of course. But, it does include weeding the beds…and we have some rather large ones.

Large Perennial Bed in our front yard. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019

The key is to not let your gardens get out of control. Once you establish plantings of perennials and then put annuals in for color, it is essential that you mulch. But, after that? Weed – 15 minutes a day. Pick a bed or two and weed it. The next day move to another spot. Spend 15 minutes in that spot and weed it.

Last night, when we were pulling weeds in are front perennial bed, I realized that we were repeating our 15 minute a night job that we regularly performed at our previous house. When we went to sell that house, the yard made and impression and helped it to sell. I am sure it will be the same case with this property.

Fifteen minutes a day – that’s all it takes to maintain a beautiful yard!

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