year of living minimally

The Year of Living Minimally: Week Seven

This week I focused on being outside. After a relaxing vacation at a friend’s house, I was inspired to work more on my yard. My friend has a gorgeous, shady yard, a nice patio she uses multiple times a day, a pretty flowerbed out front, and a garden out back.

My son and I started a “garden” this summer… except the weather was so crazy and we are such uncertain farmers that we only planted a bunch of purple onions and a grape plant. The onions look like they’re doing well, though, so that’s really encouraging. We only tilled part of the pre-existing “circle” we have in the back yard (some sort of flowerbed or garden enclosed with bricks that never had anything in it since I’ve lived here) for the onions, so I’m definitely going to work on the whole thing this fall and next spring and get it ready for more plants.

There is another small section of the yard that will be easy to turn into a garden, too, so I will get that ready over time.

As far as the front yard, I’m actually deconstructing it right now. Tall bushes used to block some of the front porch for privacy, but I didn’t like it because when I lived here alone, I didn’t like the idea of someone waiting on my porch. Plus we have a porch swing, so after chopping them down last year I can sit on the swing while my son plays in the front yard, in full view. I still need to dig up a few bushes’ roots, though.

There are azaleas growing in front of another part of the house, and they’re gorgeous but half dead, so even in full bloom you see sad dead spots. I might get help from my mom on how to nurture them back, if possible, but I’m also fine with digging them up. I like the idea of putting down sod where these bushes all were and just having a full grass front yard for a bit before deciding what to plant.

We spend more time out back anyway, and while I know the front of the house is what everyone sees, I want to make the backyard really enjoyable and productive before making the front pretty.

We have a decent patio out back, but it is the only shade in my yard. I loved it for not having trees because I didn’t have to worry about roots ruining my plumbing or falling on my house, but my that shade was nice last week! So in time I would like to dismantle my old, somewhat-rickety patio and build a nice, shady pergola that maybe some plants can grow on or hang from.

All of this will take time and work, but I started this week and it helped me feel so focused and productive and in the right state of mind that I need right now. Getting back to nature definitely does wonders for your emotional being!

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