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I moved to the suburbs, into an old farmhouse on a one acre lot covered with mature trees 10 years ago. How beautiful, I thought. Having moved from the city, I knew nothing about yards, gardens, or trees. Just thought they were so nice.

After several years of freaking out watching plants deteriorate, I started reading everything possible about gardening (too afraid to start I guess), I finally got brave enough to dig in the dirt and have been doing it ever since -- that's 8 years. I now spend up to 5 hours a day in my yard -- and find it has replaced my need to work out in a gym or get therapy.

My yard is very shadey and includes an incredible ancient Burr Oak that covers much of it. I have 3 black walnut trees (sort of a pain), 2 chestnuts, and plenty of maples and other varieties. I have slowly replaced much of the grass with naturalistic beds of shade plants. Last week I moved 15 cubic meters of mulch -- who needs a bench press?
My goal for the next two years is to compost *all* of my leaves and garden waste so I don't have to pay the city to remove stuff and so I won't have to buy manure or mulch!

I live in: United States

My zone is: z5 Chicago

First registered on May 26, 2004 .