How much land do you have and is it enough?

Lilyfinch z7 mid tnDecember 5, 2013

Hi everyone! It's been a while but I've been following everyone's posts, just not posting much. We had moved to south of nashville in a great town called Spring Hill. We are currently renting but keeping an eye out for a great house with some land. We found a fantastic home with 2.4 acres.. Which was way more than I thought it would look like. It was about 1/3 flat and the rest a slight but still tall hill. There was a small stream that divided the hill from the flat. Truthfully the hill would be easy to mow but didn't feel like we would use it.
Anyhow .. I'm just not sure how much land and I want to be there for a long long time . I love gardening and want to have plenty of space and privacy but also I am no farmer ! I wonder, how much if you care to share, land do you have and do you think it's plenty or not enough? Any advice on the land subject? I really want to make a good educated decision and not regret our lot size. I have plenty of time to look and look forward to hearing from you!

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I originally thought at least an acre, or two, then one February we found ten acres for far less than we expected. The house was too small, one of my sons slept for years on an enclosed porch, it was a dump. The plumbing didn't work, the roof leaked, the cellar floods, it's only four rooms---and it is worse now----the asbestos siding is falling off and a tree fell against the North side crashing a hole in the attic and raccoons fight all night in the Spring. Deer mice move in and sometimes fall from the ceiling and we once had a five foot milk snake we called Snively in the cellar--better mouser than the cat who preferred chipmunks. We are now getting ready to spend too much money just to prevent it from being condemned. But I would not have done anything different. There are so many factors involved it would take a book. What do you want to do with it? I let it grow up to woodland because I can Part of it is protected wetland so I can't garden there anyway and I hate lawns.But you , or your spouse might want a more civilized or suburban environment. You might have different esthetic values, different abilities, different dreams and a different pocketbook. Just be happy. ----------Weedy

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 6:37PM
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Well, we have about 76 acres...and I could go for a few more! LOL

Seriously, it depends on how you plan to use the space. If you want animals, you need more land...but you have to maintain the fences/pasture, etc.

If you just want to garden, I would stay away from hills. Relatively flat/level areas are so much easier. Or even a very slight slope (good drainage) but hills are best if you can let them 'go native' and that's not always possible.

Are there noxious weeds that your county will force you to control? Do you want to have to mow or spray a large area on a weekly or monthly basis?

If all you want is a pretty garden, with lots of roses and room for the dogs, I would stay with an acre or so and try to find a fairly level property. Views are great, but you can create you own view, with the garden.

I'm glad you're liking Tennessee...sorry about your roses (from other post) I know how much you loved them. That being said, I'm sure you'll create a beautiful garden, once you find the right property :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Thank you both for the insight!
I agree that at least an acre is needed... But 76 sounds like a handful! I would like the option to add animals down the road. I really want a big beautiful garden to wander around with different areas. I will need some lawn for future kiddos and for my dog . And my dh plans on building a koi pond. Also I'd love a pool too... I wouldn't be opposed to a hill if it was workable but the house we looked at it felt like it was in neighbors back yards. And good point on the weeds! Did not consider that.
I also think it would be beautiful to have a wildflower / sunflower meadow area.
Ll, does it take a long time to mow? Can you kind of let it go a while?
Weedy seedy, are you planning on rebuilding or just reworking the existing house?
Another thing I think , is that I want a mostly sunny lot. Maybe a smudge of trees..for a few shade plants . But lots of sun for roses!

Ll, i do love nashville ! It is beautiful and the weather is much more to my liking. And the people are so friendly! It Truely feels like home, strangely more than pa did!
On this cold rainy day it's fun to dream! :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 5:46PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

LF, so glad you are enjoying TN.

With all the different things you want from a garden I would think at least 2 acres. It gets eaten up pretty quickly. I doubt you want just a little patch of wildflowers, especially if you can mow them all down in one fell swoop, that garden wouldn't be much work. Just that could eat up a third of an acre!

I think when you want different types of gardens you also need some transition areas between them, and that eats into the acreage too.

We have 2 acres and probably about 1/3 is gardens now. I have visions of what I want from the rest of the yard, but that will take time, and money. If you plan on staying put for a long time, you'll probably want a bit of land that you can develop into your beautiful gardens over time bit by bit. Maybe you start out with a much bigger meadow than planned just to "use up" some space, but over time you can cultivate some part of it into a luscious rose garden. I don't even know if I'm making sense! Long week! LOL! My point is that I think it depends on the particular piece of land and your vision of how you plan to work with it which would give you an idea if it's manageable.

76 acres does sound tempting! Especially if I had gorgeous horses to ride! LL, I didn't realize you had that many acres. How excellent!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 8:47PM
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My little green acre is .94 acre and far more than I can manage alone. The property sits square with the compass and faces east. I conducted a shade study not long after moving here which any landscaping book worth it's printing costs will recommend you do in order to identify sun/shade patterns.

With the sun/shade study information in hand, I purposely focused on creating full sun/part sun/full shade beds when I moved here, knowing they'd be far easier to maintain as the years passed. I guess what I'm suggesting is that you need to define your personal garden goals and then either find a property that meets them or adapt your goals to a property you like.

FYI - I had a much smaller garden area where I lived for 25 years before moving here but I didn't have any clearly defined garden goals at that time. Once I moved here, that changed.

Truthfully the hill would be easy to mow but didn't feel like we would use it.

That shouts wasted space to me + whatever property taxes you'd spend on it annually. Might not be a consideration for you in TN but would definitely be a factor here in CT.

I live in a lovely neighborhood where most everyone gets along & helps one another out during the difficult times. I'm fortunate to be living in the house where I grew up so most of the neighbors are also good friends.

You might want to look closely at your garden goals. What do you envision for your garden? Do you want to create a botanical garden and invite folks to tour it? Are you interested in growing lots of organic vegetables? Should your garden provide habitat/nectar sources for pollinators or other critters? Is your goal to strictly grow incredibly beautiful plants for your own pleasure? Are you aware your garden goals may change as you grow older?

Once I'd defined my garden goals, it took me just 6 years to achieve them. Now I'm savoring the "enjoy" mode.

Good luck in your search and feel free to keep us posted on what your ultimate garden becomes.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:21PM
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I would say the more acreage you have and the less neighbors, the more you can let things 'go native' and not have to have things so manicured.

Weeds can quickly get out of hand (as I know all too well) but mowing between the gardens makes it LOOK like I know what I'm doing...and most of my friends think the weeds are part of the cottage garden.

If you have lots of neighbors and want a more finished garden space, then it would be a lot of work to have more than 1 acre. My mom has about 1/2 acre and she gardens non-stop in the summer! LOL

And with horses....they always want more pasture! They'll never indicate that you should have less land...and rolling hills are the perfect landscape for them. Enough exercise to keep them healthy, but not so steep that it's difficult to access the property (more for you than them).

Have fun with your search...I look forward to seeing your roses!

A picture of the 'kids' that's a bit blurry, but you can really see the land :) From Lavender's Garden

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

These are all some great points to look out for! I think the sun shade factor is very important, I have no desire to have a heavily wooded area as that is not my garden style. Some trees would be ok, but mostly sun.
Ll that pic is beautiful and you are very blessed to look out your window and see that! I don't know the first thing about horses but they are magnificent!
Well thank you all for the help and I'll keep it all in mind! Looking forward to the day I can show you a pic of my own heaven on earth!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 1:21PM
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I haven't been here in awhile but this thread caught my eye.

If you want the option to have animals there are many decisions to be made before determining how many acres you will need. What kind of animals and how many do you think you might have, and is the land good pasture are important ones.

In the last 24 years we have lived on 10 acres, 20 acres, and now have more than a 1/4 section which is 160+ acres. We started with 2 horses and one heifer, then bought 2 lambs, chickens, more cattle and sheep, and the 'farm' eventually grew to over 70 animals. Lots of fun but also lots of work! No longer have any livestock now tho and am planning to eventually sell.

Prior to having acreage the largest suburban lot we owned was 1/4 acre with 3 fruit trees. That's large enough for a small veggie garden and nice landscaping altho not enough for farm animals. Even a lot that size can require many, many hours each week to maintain well.

An important question is "how much work do you want to do?" as the larger your garden the more work there is. I now hire help with the constant weeding and could happily live with a much smaller garden.

I think there are so many variables to this question that it will require a lot of thought and planning.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 8:39PM
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I think LuckyGal pegged it with:
An important question is "how much work do you want to do?"

Regardless of your goals, deciding how much time, money, and energy you want to devote to maintenance of what you have, whether it is animals, a pool, a pond, mowing as lawn, mowing as field, plowing snow, weeding perennials or veggies, etc., is important.

We live on an old farm. About 40-45 acres is field, 10 of which DH mows a couple of times a season with a tractor and brush hog, and the rest is planted by the local dairy farmer.
From 2013

The rest (more than 100 acres) is woodland and wetland which DH manages for wildlife, lumber, and cordwood. He mows the woods roads annually to keep them clear for access with the tractor and for neighbors to ride horses, hike, and ski. I grow a lot of our veggies and have good-sized ornamental gardens.
From 2013

A good amount of our time is spent weeding, mulching, dealing with garden pests, planting, mowing, splitting cordwood, and in winter, plowing drives and access to sheds. We mostly love doing it, but it does take up a good chunk of our elective time. I don't have kids, and have a fairly quiet social life, and I couldn't do the outdoor stuff if my life were different. We also live in a rural enough area that nothing needs to be manicured. I can't imagine having to mow more than 1/2 an acre or so as lawn, and no one cares here if our "lawn" is as much weeds as grass. I know that having kids by itself is time-consuming, so try to be realistic as far as time you will have to spend on your property, levels of perfection you want to maintain, and flexibility of garden style (shrubs and trees require much less time and energy than lawn, vegetables, or perennials.) You want to be able to enjoy where you live, not be a slave to it. We started with a house on less than an acre, and then had a place with about 10 acres, mostly woodland, for a number of years before moving to our current property.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Very beautiful property nhbabs. And good advice.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

What a pretty garden shot you shared !

I can honestly say I admire both you and lucky gal and lavender lass for maintaining that much acreage! How wonderful but what a lot of work. I really appreciate all the advice! I am so blessed here in tn to have so many choices for land size. I am sure more will become available in the spring, and we will hope fully find something good! I really look forward to sitting in my own back yard and making my dream garden come to life.
I know not a thing about farm animals and large plots of land , so now is the perfect time to learn!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 12:40AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

What a pretty garden shot you shared !

I can honestly say I admire both you and lucky gal and lavender lass for maintaining that much acreage! How wonderful but what a lot of work. I really appreciate all the advice! I am so blessed here in tn to have so many choices for land size. I am sure more will become available in the spring, and we will hope fully find something good! I really look forward to sitting in my own back yard and making my dream garden come to life.
I know not a thing about farm animals and large plots of land , so now is the perfect time to learn!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 12:41AM
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freezengirl(3aMN and 5AK)

Don't forget to check the zoning for the property you are thinking about! We bought one of our properties that had for the entire length of the dead end road (5 miles) that had nothing but one small farm after another. Our property was 10 acres. We just assumed it was zoned for what was there. Big mistake! The county had changed the zoning that applied to all new owners not being able to be grandfathered in. So we had what looked like a rural property but could not be used as one. The zoning was for new owners zoned as residential. No farm animals of any kind.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Nhbabs- You make so many excellent points. I know if we had young children, I would have a difficult time keeping half of this going! With my husband sick, it falls to me. I don't know if I would have gone into this, if I had known what was going to happen, but now that we're here, I can't imagine living anywhere else.

It is nice to have so much quiet and no 'bad' neighborhoods, but you do have to keep an eye out for the coyotes and porcupines at night! LOL

Luckily, our area is very undeveloped, so the animals don't want to get too close to people. They would just as soon go in the opposite direction, unless you startle one. It's good to talk or sing, when you're walking the fence. Luckily, not too many neighbors to hear me or wonder why I'm talking to myself :)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 2:11PM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

I've lived on city lots and have a ranch of thousands of acres. I love rural living!! But, it's a ton of work and not for the faint of heart. If you raise animals you must remember their care and feeding come before your own. I can't stress that enough. Having said that, I now live in a very small town that is very rural and I love it too. From what you have said is important to you, farming and ranching is not in your future. Based on that, I would advise that you look for two to five acres. If you want a pond find a property that already has a natural one, they are not that easy to establish. Especially if you want them to hold fish. Really take into consideration the distance your property is from town. 18 miles may not seem like far until there is illness or injury and you need to be there 15 minutes ago. Also know that fuel is too expensive to just run to town on a whim or to pick up something for supper very often, it adds up very quickly. You have to plan ahead and keep a well stocked pantry and freezer. Know that there are plenty of critters who believe your land is theirs and that whatever you plant in your gardens may well be their midnight snack. I found that having neighbors a few miles away was the very best part of country living. They will become your extended family and while you will love them there will be disagreements at times. I found it best to deal with disagreements in private and to publicly treat them as your best friends. They'll be there when you need them and you'll find yourself wanting to be there for them as much as you can. Without can get very very lonely. Lastly I'll say that if you're planning to raise a family in the country it's a great life for kids if there is plenty of work to keep them busy (farming and ranching) but if there isn't plenty for them to do then there are just as many temptations for them to get into trouble as there are for city kids. I've raised kids in both worlds and am very sure about this. Wishing you the best in finding the place that is just right for you!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 2:40AM
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Lilyfinch, I have to explain that while I own a large acreage there is no way I 'maintain' it all. Most is lightly forested now since we had it selectively logged a few years ago. It's only used by the wild animals who live here which is fine with me. The garden area around my house is only a couple of acres and that's more than I want to maintain now. Since we quit having our own livestock we have other people's horses here for a few months just to eat the grass so it's not a fire hazard when it dries out in the fall. I no longer grow many veggies due to the climate and the amount of work. I can buy good veggies cheaper and easier than growing them.

Memo and nhbabs have made some very good points about acreages and animals. A lot of people have a dream of having a small hobby farm but reality often intrudes. Livestock are a lot of work, somewhat like having children who never grow up and leave home but will need care for their entire lives. I spent many hours in the pasture or barn during lambing and calving as well as working full time and it really was a lot of work. While horses are often seen as a wonderful animal to have they are quite a high-maintenance animal and require a lot of work and expense to keep. All animals require feed and if you do not have enough grazing land you will have to buy this. Even if you have enough grazing land there are times you many need to supplement feed depending on the animal. Costs have gone up due to the increasing price of oil as most feeds requires shipping.

I don't want to discourage you from your dream but there are many factors many people never see until later. I've seen hobby farms come and go here and often animals suffer as they are not cared for properly.

Like anyone who wants to make their dreams come true it's necessary to do your due diligence and make decisions that seem best for your situation. I wish you all the best in going into this project with open eyes and an open mind.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 2:41PM
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koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)

I would check around if anyone ever got flooded. We also have a (small) stream in back of our 2 acres .But can turn into a ranging river.And old time cellar-so have pumped water. Never in main part of house or garage.But I also bought flood insurance-just incase

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:40PM
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Memo- So true! Our neighbor has been down in our well (with his visiting FIL) at 2am, while we've gone over and helped them with their kids and keep an eye on things when they're gone.

They tried animals (horses and steer) and seem to have decided it was too much work. We have the horses, but they can be a handful, especially when it's a nice sunny day. Yesterday, the two youngest decided to play tug-of-war with my mom, when she tried to get them to quit playing with the heater in the water trough. They normally ignore it, but when she tried to move it, they each had to take turns grabbing the cord and trying to pull it out of her hands! LOL

(For those who don't know...these water heaters are built to turn off automatically when they come out of the water and the cords have heavy insulation. And, mom was outside the fence and they were on the other side of the trough. I told them to quit showing off for grandma and go play...which they did! Smart horses :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 9:19PM
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I'm new here, but thought I'd jump in :). A few years ago my husband and I decided to leave the city, start a family, and follow my parents to their new rural 'farm' on 7 acres. Now we share the acreage.....and none of us have any clue as to what we're doing!! Lol. It was a huge mess when they bought it, everything was soooooo overgrown. We're STILL working on brush clearing and deadfall! It's just never ending. And when you're on a shoestring budget and don't have all the right equipment (think a push mower and mowing ACRES of overgrown weeds), it can be overwhelming!!! That being said, there is SO MUCH potential here and the visions I have in my head, make me love it. I can't imagine going back into the city! So my insight would be to plan can be pretty manageable if you have the right equipment and knowledge from the get go. :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Swaybaby- Your acreage sounds like a wonderful size! You're right, it's all about seeing the potential :)

My husband and I are thinking about looking for a smaller area of land and maybe moving my mom in with us. Right now we have a lot of land, but fairly small home. It would be a nice change to have slightly less land and larger home with more level garden space.

I've been thinking that less land to take care of (but still room for the horses!) would be a lot easier to work with and maybe a bit warmer, too...we live in one of the coldest areas of the county. 7-10 more level, warmer acreage (and just a tad closer to town) would be a wonderful change!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 2:40PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Thanks again to everyone for the insight! Swaybaby , 7 acres sounds beautiful but a lot of work! I think I'm going to pick up a couple resources at the library and see how much I want to get into. I don't want to short myself but I sure don't want to loathe yardwork either. I'm thinking 2 acres is about right , but need to see more in person first.
Also. I don't know a thing about having a well on property! So much to learn!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Does a real gardener ever have enough? Yes, when you reach the age of 80 and say " What was I thinking" ?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 10:36AM
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I am older and it was becoming a chore to take care of the huge garden in a previous house.
I bought a tiny home and minuscule property, now I have roses and wildflowers and am putting in a little veggie garden, but it is all something I can manage.

Do what makes you happy.

That may or may not change in the future, but if your heart aches for acreage and space, don't settle for less. You can always buy a smaller place, you can never regain the years wasted by talking yourself out of something you want. Just make sure you have plenty of energy:)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 9:43PM
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I have not been here in ages. This post caught my eye. My dear husband and I used to dream about having acreage, somewhere in the country with a view, where it's peaceful. That stayed a dream and it is fine with me. We have 1/4 acre and since losing my love and soulmate 16 months ago, this is plenty for me to take care of. We made this property our little haven, a place to retreat to from the crazy world that we live in.

I agree with Lucille in the last post, 'do what makes you happy'. I just turned 65 and my energy level isn't what it used to be and missing my husband has been rough in all areas. We were married 43 years and did just about everything together. I am surrounded by loving memories and am quite content with the 1/4 acre.

I hope you find the right place just for you and your family. Enjoy each day that you are blessed with and be thankful.


Here is a link that might be useful: FlowerLady's Musings

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 1:20PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Flower lady ,
What a beautiful post , thank you so much. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dear husband. I hope the memories and the work you did together helps bring healing. I am very thankful to be blessed with a husband who also helps me . Thank you for the fresh reminder to be grateful. May God bless you and we hope to hear from you again ! :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 3:17PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Lorraine, I am so sorry to hear you have lost your soulmate, I know from your past posts how close you were. I wish I was there so I could give you a great big hug.
I hope you come back and visit often, you have been missed.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 6:06PM
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lilyfinch ~ Thank you for your kind comments about my loss. I look forward to visiting here again more often.

Dear Annette ~ It's been ages since I was here last. I will accept a cyber hug from you. Are you able to get out and garden yet? If I remember correctly you live where it's really cold and you had a lovely secluded garden area, very peaceful. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 7:51PM
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FlowerLadyLorraine - I was both inspired and grieved by your post above but am encouraged to see you post on the forum. Your suggestion to 'do what makes you happy' resonates in my own mind now that I'm retired and the same age as you.

I fortunately (or not) garden on an acre but concentrate energy & effort on only half of it with a goal to provide 'curb appeal' as well as sustain pollinators--birds, bees & butterflies.

I'm content that I did what makes me happy after first moving here and achieved the goals I set for myself at the time. I'm now happily in maintenance mode where I expect to be for the foreseeable future.

I wish you much joy of your little green 1/4 acre.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Thank you GardenWeed ~ I am working on clearing out 'junk', as my husband requested before he left this planet. I've got stuff to take to the scrap yard and need help in doing that and in getting rid of other stuff picked up 'curbside' that I won't use. Some stuff I will keep for artistic purposes, and for different projects, but the rest goes.

I have tropical cottage gardens and would love to grow a few veggies. I am close to everything and the beach is about three miles away, although I can't remember the last time I was over there. I would rather go to the botanical gardens here.

Happy Gardening to all of you whatever the size of property you have ~ FlowerLady

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 6:23AM
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Sorry for your loss. I know you will find the peace of a garden know matter how large or where it is.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 1:29PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

I'll chime in here as the Grinch, I guess.

Although I'm married, I do all the gardening and the majority of the home maintenance, including all the financial/investing decisions. Also about 99% of the driving, too! I like doing all those things, so it's no big deal.

We have a 1/6 acre urban lot and landscaped it into a very nice assortment of cottage-like, separate garden beds broken up by useful hardscape (2 patios and large storage shed/lanai).

We both retired early, and gardening is my exercise. Weeding 2000 sq. ft. by hand, up and down hill, means I always have a bottle of Aleve in the medicine chest, LOL.

It's beautiful and fun, but frankly, when we sell this property in oh, five to seven yrs from now, all I'll miss is being able to pick fresh Meyer lemons year-round. We've already investigated a number of senior communities and will pick one to move into after this place. No upkeep, no fuss, 24/7 med techs on site, and able to walk out, lock the door, and go traveling without worrying about the house being empty.

If I want to keep gardening, there are community gardens all around that are begging for volunteers.

My spouse had a major stroke at 50. I won't live more than 15 minutes drive from our HMO hospitals. He wouldn't be alive today if I hadn't been able to get him into emergency in 10 minutes flat (and that was at the height of rush hour!).

We both love living in the city. We've got great neighbors and an incredible variety of friends. So much to do, so much to see, and since we both retired early, all the time to enjoy it.

No kids and I even gave up pets a few years ago. Too much hassle and lots of $$$ as they aged and needed (expensive) care. Our neighbors/friends have pets; if we want to pet a dog or cat, we can pet theirs and not have to pay the food and vet bills.

We never made as much $$$ as others we knew, so had to make decisions about what we wanted and what we can afford. We decided we wanted to spend time on the things we enjoy: a lot of books, great food (whether I make it at home or we dine out, which we do very often), a comfy home and a lot of good friends whom we see as often as possible.

Even our modest urban property is a lot of work to handle for one person. Taking care of more RE wasn't how we wanted to enjoy our free time, especially as we age.

Living in the city gives us an amazing breadth of choices - not just where to eat but where to live and how. As we have watched our older friends age, we see how more and more, they are simplifying their lives down to the activities they truly enjoy and the people they most want to spend time with.

To us, that doesn't include sticking expensive pills down a sick animal's throat or being 85 yrs old and trying to hunch over to weed a 50' long flowerbed that is only one of fifteen others needing attention.

Now, if others are up to it, I think that's wonderful! More power to them, I say.

But that's not for me or my spouse. Ten years from now I want to have even more time for enjoying life with friends and family, not less. We want to create more shared memories with the people we love, not make it harder to do so.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 6:10PM
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jkom ~ Your post was great! I too live where I can get to everything rather quickly. I have enough to take care of with this 1/4 acre and don't want any more.

Thank you for your time in writing how you feel and I don't think you're a grinch at all. I am sorry about your husband's stroke. It sounds like you both are living life the way you want to and are very content with that.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:43AM
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Jkom51, I don't see you as a Grinch at all, merely someone who is realistic about their needs and desires.

IMO it is very important for a satisfying life for one to seriously think about what they really want to do in, and with, their life. Forty years ago when we were in our early 30's my DH and I had the dream of having land and livestock and finally did that 25 years ago. I also had a dream of having my own business and made that dream a reality. I won't say either decision led to an easy or stress-free life but I am glad to have had the experience of fulfilling our dreams. I've learned all sorts of probably useless things that I otherwise wouldn't know how to do but it has certainly been interesting. When talking with friends and acquaintances I've often been told I should write a book as I've had so many experiences that others have not had.

Not everyone seeks challenges in their life so it's important to know oneself well enough to know whether at the end of your life you will wish you had done more. I'm in a different phase of my life now and no longer have livestock but am doing and searching for other challenges and interesting experiences. No longer need a large property or huge garden.

I've always believed that "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is a good motto but I may be more of a risk-taker than others.

Lilyfinch, how is the planning/property search going?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 11:32AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Lucky gal , it's coming along !! We are still looking . My husband has thrown in a request of " views of sunset from backyard " to our list ! Haha . I know if that's what he wants we will find it . Our lease is up in July so we are going to intensly look in May . We don't want to pay to break lease or have to extend . But we definitely decided 1-3 acres , mostly sun. It is lots of fun looking !!
I really enjoyed reading everyone's responses. Our gardens are so personal to us and if it's our passion then it's even more personal . I hope to have this next home for a good 20 years , so I might seem like my list is crazy , but we aren't the hopping around houses type. Some friends my age are , but it's not for me.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Lilyfinch- We have a view of the sunset from our backyard...and it's hot! LOL I'm sure a covered patio/BBQ area would help a lot, but just another thing you might want to consider, during your search!

As for me, I spend all my extra money on my horses and cats and I'm glad I do! I found out how many friends and family I did NOT have, when my husband got sick. My horses and cats were thrilled to see him when he got home and emailing him pictures of them, while he was in rehab, made him very happy! They visited him, when others did not. Sorry, I sound so bitter, but I guess I am...just the way it is. My family, however, was wonderful! So glass half full, right? :)

As for property, not all of it has to be garden space. A wilderness area can be wonderful and doesn't need as much attention as other gardens. Just make sure to keep an eye out for noxious weeds and encourage natives and other 'easy' plants, shrubs and maybe a few trees. The birds, bees, butterflies, etc. will thank you and you'll enjoy that view, too!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:26PM
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portia(PA 6B, Brandywine)

we have 1.4 acres, wide but not too deep lot, relatively flat. coming from an area (CA) where we had high-density small lot living, it was amazing to come out here and have options for land that didn't cost a million+ dollars. we started out thinking we might just want 1/2 an acre. that grew quickly to 1acre. then more. mostly for privacy and some buffer with neighbors, but also i love to garden so i love the space! a lot of it is grass so i need to decide how to layout the beds, we hate mowing, and if you want to do 'rooms' then you need to consider the flow between rooms, transition etc. taking care of the land is not that difficult right now but it's winter moving to spring-- so i'm sure spring and summer will be very busy. we did spend 4 hours a day over the wkd just cleaning up and planting. it IS fun to look and daydream though, so hope you end up with something great! also part of our lot is forest which makes it easy for 'care'...we don't really need to do much there.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:57PM
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