Curing the Gardening Phobia

The 1-Hour Gardener

6:00 P.M.

I’m just a suburban naturalist, who finds peace kneeling in my garden. I had lost all of that a few years back through a series of natural and personal troubles.

One night we awoke to the sound of raccoons rummaging overhead. They had ripped a hole in our roof leaving the attic exposed during 14 hours of rain. We finally managed to place a temporary patch on the roof, buying ourselves some time to come up with a recovery plan.


Soon our plan had to encompass more troubles…we lost 3 ash trees in our backyard to the emerald ash borer. And the tree removal specialists did even more damage to our beds, as they brought in heavy equipment to take down the trees and grind out the stumps.

We spent the next year with the roof patched, but not repaired, and no landscaping left, while we churned over our plan. That following year we added on a room and repaired the roof. A landscaper friend bartered services with us to help with the yard. Thanks to Kenny, we seemed to finally be back on track.

But then the next summer hit, and I was overwhelmed by a longstanding difficulty that I finally sought professional help for. I was told that the condition is called “lack of nurture,” and I spent 18 months crawling out of a deep mental hole. During that time, I only minimally worked in the yard. And insult to injury…we lost some of the bigger new plantings.

The first several weeks of this 2018 summer, I was numb. I wandered fecklessly around the yard. Wondered where to start. Overwhelmed by the work.

Then one morning, I realized that I only needed to be in the yard. I did not need to conquer it…just be in it. My plan is to just be in the yard…not study everything that needs to be done…but just be in it and work on 1 small patch at a time—for 1 hour a day.

I hope you’ll come with me on this journey, as I recover myself and the yard…in 1 hour a day.

First hour success

We're in this together! Let us know what you think!