The bending involved takes a toll on backs, so the faster the job can be accomplished, the more you can do. Trade out weeding or watering every so often to break up the monotony and pain.
There is more reward in finishing just one area completely, than skipping all over the yard repeating the same action. Have one goal each time you step outside to complete within two hours. Any more than that is too daunting and damaging to us both physically and psychologically.
The buckets that were in use for planting and weeding now give way to my stash of old sheets. Spread under shrubs needing clipping or beside a bed of flowers, time is not wasted stuffing long stalks into small receptacles. When full, tie the corners and take to compost. It is amazing how many tree trimmings that tangle and take up so much space are easily corralled and scrunched together in a large sheet.
A child’s plastic sled is useful now to slide across the grass. Those pop-up, four foot tall cylinders can be dragged along on a saucer that has a rope tied on. My granddaughter’s small snow shovel becomes an extension of my arm when combined with a rake to pick up trimmings.
Never throw weeds or cuttings onto the grass, it doubles your work load. Have the right size bucket with you in the bed, dumping into a wheelbarrow or cart. A bungee cord across the top holds it secure on the way to dump.
I have been looking at my trimmings with new eyes since starting work at the flower shop. The colors and textures of foliage and the unusual flowers and pods add so much to arrangements that can’t be made from florists’ common material.
The weddings have been so fun, as I see my passion for gardening enhance the whole experience for the bride and guests. In funeral work, we try to express the favorite colors and life of the loved one, including in our dish gardens a perennial to be planted and shared among the family. A nice circle of life all around.