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Housework in the garden

  • Housework in the garden

I'm often asked this question - do I not think of regular gardening, such as weeding, as a sort of outdoor housework?

And the answer, of course, is no, I don't! Housework - dusting, polishing, hoovering - is dull, boring, endless, and thankless. You do it, and yes, the place looks lovely for five minutes, but no-one except you really notices, and then next week, you have to do it all over again.

Weeds, on the other hand, grow differently every time: even the perennial nuisances like bindweed and ground elder have the decency to pop up in different places, or grow unexpectedly tall, or short. And once you've had a good go at them, you are often free of them for months at a time.

The act of doing the weeding is not dull - I'm experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors, there is often a chirpy Robin or Blackbird coming to see what I'm turning up for them: and I'm getting lots of exercise. (And being paid, of course!)

I find that people are always commenting on how nice the garden looks: but I have yet to have a visitor at home say “ooh, aren't your mirrors clean!” or “wow, your shelves are really lovely.”

Am I alone in this? Or do you think that gardening is like housework?!

Comments (4)

  1. Grower


    I love weeding! In fact, I think weeding is the main reason I have a garden. It is gentle, meditative outdoor exercise - so relaxing! You can do as little or as much as you want, intersperse it with lots of standing around enjoying the garden, having a cuppa or giving the neighbour's cat a good belly scratch. And as it is open-ended, there is no stress about getting anything "done".

    And you never know what you are going to find! A lot of the "proper" plants in my garden - ferns, grasses, wild-flowers, border perennials, small trees - started their life as a weed. Often, I just move the "weeds" around where I want them, e.g. all the Forget-me-nots go on the gravel strip near the house, which gives really pretty effects.

    As for housework, I adhere to the motto: "A clean home is a sign of a wasted life." ;-)

  2. Grower


    I think gardening should be peaceful time in touch with nature. Mowing is one thing but use modern aids garden vacumns and especially stimmers... Noisy screaming horrible strimmers.. I reckon if you need to strim your design is all wrong or a control freak....

    As for housework whats that?..

  3. Grower

    Mike Hill

    Lawn mowing is definitely outdoor hoovering. Although, since the advent of plastic grass, I have actually noticed people literally hoovering the 'lawn'

  4. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Nemorosa, couldn't agree more about your chosen housework motto! I do enough to be sanitary and that's it! I'm always surprised when non-gardeners comment on how awful it must be to do the weeding... like you, I enjoy it: it's calm, peaceful, and when you're done, you can see what you've done, if you see what I mean.

    Even bindweed - digging up a whole barrow full of the stuff is very satisfying.

    Lk, I couldn't agree more about strimmers: I bought a modern Austrian scythe a few years ago and sold my strimmers, life has been considerably more peaceful since then.

    And Mike, I find it a little odd how many men will actually insist on being the one who cuts the lawn, but wouldn't dream of pushing a hoover round indoors. And yet, they are the same...... (laughs)

    • Housework in the garden

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