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Playing in the Dirt

March 29th, 2009

Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up
until your back gets used to it.

~Author Unknown

This past week I’ve been putting in a new flowerbed in the front yard. I’m liberating about 100 square feet of lawn along with part of the woods on the side of the property. This bed is going to be about 8-10 feet wide by about 30 feet long. It’s going to be a beneficial border of native plants and flowers for the bees and humming birds. I’m also hoping to have a few spots to tuck in some herbs and veggies.
It sure is hard work digging up sapplings and tree roots along the edge of the woods. I don’t mind though, one of the things I like most about gardening is the manual labor. I like that I don’t have to worry about going to the gym to get my exercise, I get it in the front yard while doing something constructive. It feels good knowing that all of my hard work will have a beautiful reward later this summer.

Do you like the manual labor of gardening? Or do you prefer the easier tasks?

18 Comments to “Playing in the Dirt”
  1. Frugal Trenches on March 29, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Oh it all looks so wholesome and healthy!
    I personally like the easy stuff….but am willing to do the harder as well, in fact I have no choice there is no one to do the harder but me!

    Frugal Trenches’s last blog post.. Dartmouth, Tim Hortons, Food & Skin – Oh My!

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  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on March 29, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I love the workout I get in the garden. Yesterday we (hubby & I) made 2 new raised beds and did a little landscaping. Like you said, it’s better than going to the gym and the scenery is much nicer, lol.

    Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary’s last blog post.. Back to Basics – Meatloaf

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    • Susy on March 29, 2009 at 12:13 pm

      So true! I’m hoping to add a few more raised beds this year as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Julia on March 29, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I actually like when I feel sore the next morning because I know I really earned it.

    Julia’s last blog post.. Million Dollar Recipe: Vanilla Scented Pork

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    • Susy on March 29, 2009 at 12:13 pm

      I love that sore feeling, that makes me feel like I actually did something.

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  4. Daphne on March 29, 2009 at 8:17 am

    I love the workout for about maybe 2-3 hours. After that I’m so wiped out I don’t want to do it anymore. At least if the work is hard, like digging. I try not to do too much of that all at once. It works better mentally and physically if I do just a couple of hours at a time. Then I always like it and never resent it. I just have to reign in my enthusiasm for the garden in the spring. It is hard to control myself sometimes on the first warm days.

    Daphne’s last blog post.. The Colors of Thyme

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  5. Mangochild on March 29, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I *love* the physical part of gardening. Especially after a day of mental exertion, it is more refreshing than ever just to do that kind of work. Plus, I get to see that there is a real reward from my efforts. Feeling sore from gardening is much better than feeling mentally drained after other kinds of work.

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. Are these seeds healthy?

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  6. Heather on March 29, 2009 at 9:50 am

    My husband does the really heavy work and I do the detail work. The tiller scares me a little but I don’t mind the work part. I really like the exercise angle as winter doesn’t see much for me.

    Heather’s last blog post.. Raised Beds Free of Snow

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  7. Mike on March 29, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I love the manual labor and sense of accomplishment that comes from working the soil and producing ones own food from that same soil. It affords me the opportunity to ponder what an amazing gift this planet is and to appreciate it even more.

    I like your compost poll…keep digging,


    Mike’s last blog post.. What Good is a Russet Without a Purple Majesty by it’s Side!

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  8. kristin on March 29, 2009 at 10:52 am

    “Love” is a strong word. I’m resigned, I suppose. Except for hilling potatoes. I really hate hilling potatoes.

    kristin’s last blog post.. Two for the Price of One

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  9. Annie's Granny on March 29, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I used to love the manual labor that gardening involved. Now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 70, I find it a bit difficult on my old body. That’s why I’ve switched to raised bed intensive gardening… more digging, and almost no weeding! That’s not to say I don’t get a good workout most days, there are always containers to carry, compost to turn, leaves to chop….I’m not going to be able to enjoy that rocking chair just yet!

    Annie’s Granny’s last blog post.. March 28, 2009: Seedling Saturday #2

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    • Susy on March 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm

      I’m always happy to hear older folks that haven’t resigned themselves to use the “I’m too old” excuse. Keep up the gardening and I’m sure you’ll be out growing your own well into your 90’s and beyond!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Maureen on March 29, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Like you, I never understood the need to pay to ‘work out’ ….I get that in the garden pretty much every day…and I LOVE it!

    About the only part of gardening that I don’t like (hate is not a STRONG ENOUGH word) is installing and fixing the drip irrigation every year. We have very hard water so the drippers need constant replacing (despite filters at the faucet). Add to that the animal mayhem and the job can be quite daunting. Though once finished, the ease of watering during our 110degree summers is considerable.

    Maureen’s last blog post.. Eatin’ Peas

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  11. Di on March 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Oh how true is that quote! Especially for the heavy manual stuff. I just weeded and dug over my hellstrip last month, quite the task when you’re digging out tree stumps and juniper roots/branches but I did it. For tasks like these I tackle them in chunks. Helps so much if you can see progress as you go. The first week was tough cos you have so far to go but once you see progress and see how far you’ve come it gets easier.

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  12. Judy on March 29, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I do love the physical part. In fact, we’re hoping to close on our new house in less than a month and I’m really looking forward to many long hours putting in a garden where there hasn’t been one before. Of course, that has to come along with the many hours getting the house in habitable condition- it’s going to be a tiring spring!
    As for the ‘older’ gardeners- my parents are both in their 80s and still have a big garden. They have scaled it down in the past few years but mostly because there are only two of them eating from it now.

    Judy’s last blog post.. A honey of a wedding

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  13. ChristyACB on March 30, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Oh, I love the manual labor. At least for a while. My view is that I schedule just as much as it will take to make me be wishing for it to be over. Right now that is about 6 yards of dirt to move for an easy measure. It is such a joy to do it and I find it makes my dinner taste much better too!

    ChristyACB’s last blog post.. Herbs are Rising!

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  14. the pleasures of homemaking on March 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I’m digging a new flower bed in my backyard and I’m so sore (and I work out!!). I love getting out there and digging and moving rocks etc. but I can’t do it like I used to. I used to be able to work in the garden for hours and now 3 is about my limit! But like you say it’s a good workout and you have the added reward of creating something beautiful!


    the pleasures of homemaking’s last blog post.. Nests

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  15. Stephany on April 1, 2009 at 12:06 am

    I enjoy the physical labor very much. I am the type of person who really can’t sit still and having my garden to putz around in keeps me busy and gets me outdoors. Two things which are both very necessary to my well-being.

    We are putting a similar garden out front this year, I am looking forward to digging it up.

    Stephany’s last blog post.. Decluttering Fun

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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