What is Your Time Worth?

I would like to open the next section of posts with a quick question–Is your landscape worth the time you invest in it?  I don’t mean the time to install it, but the time to keep it looking nice each week.

Having spent more than my fair share doing yard maintenance, I look at some landscapes and cringe as I picture the time wasted to keep some parts of it looking attractive.  While the time a landscape consumes may not typically be considered a component of a sustainable landscape, I include it because there is no more important natural resource than your time and everyone hates to see it wasted.

The first way that I see time wasted  in a landscape is with poor access to tools, equipment and areas to be maintained.  Think about where you keep your lawnmower.  Do you have to dig out your lawnmower and maneuver it through an intricate obstacle course just to get it out of the garage or shed?  You know you will end up putting it back in the same spot when you are done, so whatever time it takes you to get it out doubles when you put it back in the same place.

Then you have to get the mower to the lawn.  If you have to go up hills and in between bushes, trees and fence posts to make it to your lawn, you are wasting even more time. 

That is only the lawnmowing.  Think about all the time wasted scaling rock walls to maintain a small spot on the top of the wall, or trying to carry an armful of weeds or trimmings to the garbage can.

When maintaining your yard is difficult because every task is so complicated and time-wasting, subconsciously everything about your yard becomes a chore.  You will be less likely to spend the time needed to keep it looking nice and you won’t spend time in your outdoor living spaces and enjoying your flower beds because nobody wants to spend time in a work zone. 

The solution to this problem is more common sense than design aesthetics.  Keep your equipment and tools where you can easily get to them.  Create paths and access ways to make reaching your maintenance areas quick and easy.  Last, change the plantings or landscape in really hard to reach areas to things that don’t require much effort to maintain.

Once again, what is your time worth?  Think about the time spent maintaining your landscape and if your landscape is not worth the time you spend in it, redesign and rennovate!  Make your landscape worth the time you spend maintaining it.  You owe it to yourself.

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