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Accessible Gardening: Buying a home - what size yard?

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Forum: Accessible GardeningReplies: 41, Views: 124
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West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

August 27, 2010
9:47 PM

Post #8066438


I think I'm a newbie on this forum so let me introduce myself. My name is Deirdre and I live in Des Moines, Iowa. I've had fibromyalgia for 18 years. The fatigue and pain have taught me to pace myself. My symptoms wax and wane and I usually feel much better in the summer.

Recently my husband and I decided to buy our first home. At first I was ecstatic that I finally get a yard instead of just my apartment balcony and container gardening! Then reality set in and I started to wonder if I shouldn't overdo it. I had told the realtor that I want at least 1/4 acre but then I'll go see the house and realize how big that actually is. I haven't mowed a yard since before I got sick so I don't really know in my bones how much work that is. My husband says he will buy me a riding lawn mower. And he promises to help me - I make it sound like he's leaving it all up to me and I don't mean to. He just knows how much I like working in the garden. He has a few health issues of his own, as well. In any case, I'm wondering if I shouldn't go with a smaller yard and keep the chores to a minimum. What do you all think? How much land do you have? How much do you wish you had?

Then I got an awesome book from the library about low-maintainence gardening and it has lots of good tips like using groundcover to reduce the amount of lawn you have to mow. What I'd like to hear from my fellow gardeners is your own experience and advice. Do you use tips like that so you're able to do more of the garden tasks you love?

We're mostly looking at houses that are at least 30 years old, and in Des Moines, that means big trees and raking leaves. Do leafblowers help you all keep up with the yard work? Or do you use a lawn tractor?

I'm also considering the future. I don't want to alter the landscaping too radically, like if I get rid of most of the lawn, what happens when I want to sell? I can't imagine families with kids will appreciate not having a yard to play catch in.

We won't have a lot of cash at first since all of the money is going towards the house. But eventually I'd like to plant some shrubs, trees, and perennials. At first I planned on putting in a vegetable garden but my HEB's are wonderful and less work. It will be so nice to have a hose so I won't have to lug around watering cans. What plants have worked well for you?

Thanks for the help!


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