You love your home. It’s that simple: your family and your home make the best pair. Your time at home includes everything from keeping up with the garden to relaxing in your living room to making meals together.
Your home should be a place you love to spend time – it should be your sanctuary.
How can you make your home into a more restful, enjoyable space? Reduce the amount of work that you need to do outdoors, and you’ll love your home even more.
What Do You Love About Your Outdoor Space?
What makes your outdoor space the best outdoor space for you? If you bought your home because of its large, sunlit patio, that could be a highlight for you. Perhaps planting bulbs and watching them grow is your favorite gardening task. Everyone has something that they enjoy about their outdoor space. What if you could spend most of your time doing that, rather than working on the tasks that you dislike, like cleaning out the gutters?
Imagine your home as the perfect sanctuary from the outside world. What would this look like to you? What would you keep in your daily life, and what chores would you remove?
What Do You Dislike About Your Outdoor Space?
While you probably enjoy certain outdoor tasks, there are probably plenty you’d rather avoid. The bottom line is, you may love the space, but you don’t necessarily like the chores.
Whether it’s mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, or removing ice from the walkway in winter months, you probably have a long list of outdoor chores and a number of those may be on your Top Ten Most Dreaded Activities list. You procrastinate, you defer, and finally, you either spend the weekend working on chores or you hire someone else to do the work. Worse, you might decide to avoid the chores until they become urgent. For instance, that clogged gutter starts to pour water down the side of your house, and you realize that it’s actually damaging your siding and the home foundation. Not only do you have to contend with the dreaded chore, but now you have to deal with the cost of cleanup and repair.
What if you could get rid of some of those chores forever?
Imagine reducing the chores that you dislike and having more time to enjoy the activities that you like. Smart gardening and home design can help you achieve just that.
Here are some of the most dreaded garden-related tasks and how you can simplify them or remove them entirely.
1. Cleaning the Gutters
The problem: Oh, those gutters. They’re some of the most irritating parts of your gardening experience. They fill up with leaves in the fall and blossoms in the spring. You either have to balance on a ladder yourself or hire someone else to do it. What can you do?
The solution: You could hire a gutter cleaning service. However, if you’d like to solve the problem for good, add gutter covers. These covers for your gutter will send leaves down to the ground.
The result: You’ll never have to clean your gutters again. Enjoy!
2. Mowing the Lawn
The problem: You love that lawn. It’s lush, it’s green, and it just keeps on growing. However, you don’t really enjoy mowing it.
The solution: Instead of mowing the lawn all of the time, replace some of it with hardscaping, gravel, or a deck. Choose to place a lawn in the areas where you will really enjoy it. You can also look to alternative lawns that grow more slowly or stay short, like lawn clover, “a larger flowering variety that is far more at home in your garden, ” according to The Family Handyman.
The result: You’ll enjoy a lush and slow-growing lawn that’s in all the right places.
3. Removing Ice Dams
The problem: You spend most of the winter worrying about what’s going on in your roof. Is it leaking? Will you need to repair it? Is water backing up under your roof due to ice dams in your gutters?
The solution: Get a gutter heating system. These systems warm up the water that moves into your gutters, keeping it in a liquid state all winter long.
The result: Remove your worries and enjoy the winter season.
4. Removing Snow and Ice From Pathways
The problem: All winter, you shovel the snow. It gets packed down, and still, you shovel. What can you do about all of this snow?
The solution: This is one time when being on top of the problem really helps. Before the snow starts to pack down, either hire someone to shovel or do it yourself, preferably with a time and labor-saving device like a snowblower. Purchase a lot of snow and ice melter and place it on your pathways proactively. If you’d really like to save time, consider purchasing heated stair mats “made out of a thermoplastic material that can melt two inches of snow per hour,” according to House Beautiful.
The result: No more slipping down the front porch in the morning.
5. Edging Pathways
The problem: You like clean lines in your garden. However, you don’t want to make these lines yourself over and over again as the grass grows around your garden beds.
The solution: Hardscaped landscaping spaces provide a natural edge in your garden, and you don’t need to add it every spring, summer, and fall. Hire someone to build rock walls, brick terrace gardens, or garden in raised beds or pots.
The result: Clean lines and a view that you love.
6. Weeding the Garden
The problem: You want gardens that look glorious, but you really, really dislike all of the weeding that comes along with this commitment. How are you going to deal with all of those weeds growing in profusion? Can you create the garden that you want to look at without looking sideways at all of the weeds and thinking about all of the work that you need to do?
The solution: If you don’t want to weed, you can reduce your garden beds, focusing on just a few beds with striking flowers and foliage rather than many garden beds. You can also choose groundcovers instead of bare soil or mulch in the garden. Weeds love to grow in open spaces, and if you already have a groundcover plant growing there, they will be less able to grow.
The result: A garden that looks tidy, and you didn’t need to weed it.
7. Pruning Plants
The problem: Plants grow. That’s wonderful for your garden since they’ll grow bigger and stronger every year, adding more beauty to your space. Unfortunately, it can be a lot of work for the gardener. If that’s you, and you dislike pruning but want to have plants, what can you do?
The solution: Plants grow at different rates. Instead of choosing fast-growing perennials, look at the typical size and growth rate of a plant before you buy it to make sure it suits your needs. Choose slow growers. Also, look at plants that die down when the season is done. Shorter, less woody perennial plants don’t generally need pruning.
The result: Plants that stay small without extra intervention.
8. Planting and Removing Annuals
The problem: You love to have some seasonal color in your garden, and the best way to do this seems to be to add a profusion of different annual plantings. They’re beautiful, but all of that bending and lifting to plant and remove them at the end of the season is getting to you.
The solution: You could either look at beautiful perennial flowers that will regrow year after year, like bulbs, or you could seek out annual plants that self-sow. An annual like borage will continue to grow in the same place because it’s excellent at spreading its own seeds. Many wildflower mixes do the same.
The result: Flowers that you enjoy, and you don’t need to manage them.
9. Raking Leaves
The problem: You like the fall colors when they are on the trees, but when they are on the ground, you really don’t want to deal with them.
The solution: If you really don’t like raking leaves, you could either hire someone to do it or you could rake them into mulch around the trees, allowing them to protect the soil at the base of the tree. This prevents you from needing to bag the leaves. If raking leaves is your most disliked task in the garden, consider replanting with trees and shrubs that don’t lose their leaves in the winter.
The result: Raking? What raking? I’m enjoying the fall instead.
10. Watering Plants
The problem: It’s summer, and the plants are thirsty again. Do you drag out the hose and water them another time today?
The solution: Instead of planting row upon row of water-loving tomatoes, consider reducing your garden beds and focusing on a smaller number of plants that are good at beating the heat. For example, sedums love dry spaces, and they are beautiful too. If you love your tomatoes, water early in the morning when the water won’t evaporate as easily, or install a drip irrigation system.
The result: Enjoy the plants in your garden without worrying as much about constant watering.
Adding Elements That You Love
Now that you’ve reduced the elements of gardening that you dislike, why not add some elements that you enjoy? For example, you could add:
- An outdoor living space such as a porch, patio, or deck.
- An indoor-outdoor space that allows you to cook outside.
- A pleasant view, such as a bird feeder, a fountain, or a piece of garden art.
- A bench to act as a quiet retreat.
- A play area for the kids.
Are you ready to make your garden space more restful and less full of work? Contact Harry Helmet. We’re here to install gutter covers and gutter heat systems that will put your mind at ease. Schedule a free estimate today.