The 15-Minute Gardener


Admittedly, gardening is work. Unquestionably, the joys of gardening far exceed the chores necessary to keep the garden enjoyable for me, family and friends and visiting wildlife. However, if I attempt to spend hours at a stretch doing garden tasks, it is hard finding the motivation to put on my gardening shoes and gloves and get started.

What I prefer to do instead, is to take a few minutes a few days a week to do small chores that improve the garden. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time, and I am able to discover in the greatest detail what is unfolding as each season progresses.

This time of year, the easiest 15 minute gardening task is weeding. I can even do it in my slippers and robe.

If garden tools are easily accessible, many tasks can be done quickly: watering and grooming containers; sweeping the walk, deck or patio; planting one, or a few, of the plants that have been hanging around just waiting to be put in the ground; pruning a few limbs of that Japanese maple; ordering compost (the spreading of which is not on the 15 minute task list); planting a few summer blooming bulbs; setting a beer trap for spring slugs; smelling the roses…then deadheading them!


I’m going home tonight after work to fill my yard debris container with yet another load of giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) needles. It will take less than 15 minutes, but one little step at a time, eventually I’ll get them all cleaned up.

What garden tasks take you just a few minutes to accomplish?

Camillia bloom resting on Lonicera ‘Edmee Gold’



Ornamental cherry blossoms

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