April 27 – 20 Minute Gardening

by Letty Watt

Our weeds are flourishing in the garden. My eyes see the beauty of the Pansies, and then I grimace when I see the purple Henbit blowing in the breeze. Henbit first became my nemesis when we lived in Kansas, and our garden under the mailbox turned purple every year.

The mailman once explained to me that the pioneers enjoyed the Henbit for its food and beauty. I replied that I really did not plan to eat it any time soon. Shortly after that discussion Jack and I were driving down country roads on a warm spring day gazing at the shades of green growing crops when suddenly a massive field a purple exploded on the horizon. My jaw dropped in awe. Imagine the wagons of pioneers toping these purple hills of central Kansas in the spring.

However, I digress. I know that I tend to overdue projects and end up straining my back and hamstrings. I hit upon the idea of twenty-minute weed pulling this spring.

First, I assemble the supplies: a plastic table cloth for throwing weeds onto; gloves to protect my tender hands (from washing and cleaning the house with Clorox and water); digging tools; knee pad; plus set a timer on the phone for twenty minutes. In the beginning, I returned all items used to their place in the garage when I finished, but now I have found it saves time to keep them together in a bucket or wrapped in the cloth. Most importantly for me is to select a small area where I can make a difference visually, tending to the hidden weeds last.

Start the timer and dig away. Twenty minutes did not take me to the end of the entrance of our walkway, but I stayed with the timer and felt no pain afterward. The next patch can be weeded later in the day or another time.

In the next project, I discovered a most valuable lesson. Since I am not able to attend the Yoga and Tai Chi classes during this Covid-19 stay home stay safe time, I realized that I need to stretch every chance I get.

With the next twenty-minute gardening project I added several opportunities for stretching during the dig, and then plenty afterward. For a healthy back, allow at least ten minutes for back health when the twenty-minute timer rings.

The most relaxing stretch for me when I am on my hands and knees is to practice cat/cow, a yoga move. When I stand to move to another location I now bend at the hips to touch my toes and pretend that my back-end is up against a wall. It is a great stretch for the hamstrings which typically do not like to pull weeds.

Just imagine getting fit and healthy while weeding the garden, and staying home, healthy, and safe. The blooming flowers will thank you and so will your back.

Writing soothes Letty Watt’s soul and clears her mind. She began writing a weekly blog over five years ago, with the purpose of building a repertoire of stories for telling aloud, but things changed. Now she writes because stories hidden in the recesses of her mind are begging to get out into the world. Check out her blog, Literally Letty, at https://literallyletty.blogspot.com.

2 responses to “April 27 – 20 Minute Gardening

  1. Love the idea of multitasking by combining yoga and weeding. As for me, I treat most weeds as flowers and let them flourish 🙂

  2. Your piece reminded me of the pleasures I had gardening when I lived on an 18 acre woodlot. And….also how I am missing my Yoga classes during the COVID pandemic. Today I must make time to walk and stretch

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