I love my garden and spend a good amount of time pottering outside cleaning up, rather than cleaning up inside the house. Sweeping leaves is a never-ending job, but despite being lazy, I secretly enjoy it - it is strangely cathartic, the rhythm of the sweeping motion, making the piles of them, the collection of them and loving the tidy look afterwards, even if it is short-lived, as I know the next windy day will bring more down. Weeding I will sit down for if given the chance (that’s how lazy I am), and happily pull up any weeds that I can reach, before shifting onto a fresh patch.
Gardening has something relaxing about it, even in full sun or the cold. You’re creating something, encouraging something to show their best, even pruning to show off its best points.
Grass roots, and others
But I am lazy. If something chooses to grow either because of me or despite me, I am happy, but I don’t get upset if it turns up its roots and dies on me. I spent a lot of time one year preparing an area for a lawn and stood scattering seeds like someone from a Claude Monet painting, but the ants got the seeds first and I watched them marching away triumphantly clutching their free bounty, and although I was disappointed, I really just felt, well, we weren’t supposed to have a lawn then. I would have been too lazy to mow it anyway. A dear friend loves her lawn, and after a mowing, will almost go round with the nail scissors to keep each blade a regulation length. Nah, not for me, thank you.
Pick me up, Buttercup
You know those Bermuda Buttercup weeds? Every year, I do the same - I start off in a frenzy of pulling them up, then realise they will win and die off without my help eventually when it gets too hot, so now I sit back and relax with a cuppa while happily enjoy their little yellow heads bobbing around in the breeze.
I do enjoy cuttings (particularly if they are stolen) and have many pots in the garden with bits of geranium half-heartedly growing in them, where the soil has become tired and probably need repotting, and the plants could do with pruning. I have more stuff in pots than I can count, and I don’t know why I keep doing it, telling myself to give them away, but I never get round to it. I bought an Easter Cactus (Schlumbergera) which was magnificently in bloom when I got it, and I couldn’t resist snipping off a few leaves and potting them after the blooms fell off. Now they are about to bloom themselves – more to add to my growing collection, where I am just too lazy to do anything with them. I should set up a stall at the local market if I could bear to part with any of them.
Don’t dig for victory
I read that one easy way to be a lazy gardener where veggies are concerned is to plant perennials, they can save you time every spring since they’ll come back with no effort from you. And don’t turn over the soil too much, they say there are billions of microbes in the underground soil that support the life above and send necessary minerals to your plants. While turning over the soil might initially bring a surge of oxygen to your garden, when done every year, it kills off essential fungal networks and beneficial life forms that we are only beginning to discover now.
And you can regrow food from your pantry that you might normally throw away – sprouting potatoes, ginger, garlic onions – instead of wasting food, you will be multiplying it – and you don’t even have to go out to buy the seeds, how lazy is that?
If you look on the internet, there are loads of tips for lazy gardening, even a lazy gardening academy - perhaps I should sign up and get a diploma to prove I truly am, a lazy gardener.
Marilyn writes regularly for The Portugal News, and has lived in the Algarve for some years. A dog-lover, she has lived in Ireland, UK, Bermuda and the Isle of Man.
I am a Lazy Gardener
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