Where Have All the Gardens Gone?

| 9/10/2008 10:44:50 AM

Tags: gardens, gardening, house selling,

We are planning to downsize – move into a one-story bungalow in one of the city's historical areas. Smaller house, smaller yard, smaller footprint all around. Of course, we must sell our house first. But we are bumping up against a selling problem we never expected – we seem to have too many gardens!

I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised. In the last five years I have attended hundreds of open houses, looking for that just-right little property. And I realize in all that time I have seen only one actual vegetable garden. Oh – there were a few tomatoes plants growing next to a house and some herbs bordering patios, but actual vegetable gardens? Only one! Don’t’ you find that amazing? I do!

So, back to my house - last weekend at the open house a prospective buyer walked out on the patio and said, “Oh my, who takes care of all of this?” Now understand, my backyard is all of 35 by 100 feet. There is a lovely water garden, some flower gardens bordering the fence, a 15 by 25 foot veggie garden and the rest is grass. We’re not talking about acres of market garden to care for. The upshot of all this seems to be that fewer people view gardening as a pleasant pastime. How sad! backyard garden 

I take such pleasure in watching the yard redecorate with the seasons. Flowers come and go, leaves pass from green to yellow to brown, the grass shimmers when it rains and is a clean slate after a snowfall. And I have the privilege of participating in this cinematic drama with each seed and bulb I plant. Gardens are good for the soul.


4/30/2009 3:16:06 PM

We live on a third of an acre suburban property that is filled, and I do mean filled, with gardens - 19 huge raised veggie beds, 14 fruit and nut trees, loads of perennial beds, grapes, raspberries, blackberries and many other edibles. We've just sold this home with the plan of buying an acreage (so we can grow even more)but some of the people looking at our place thought the gardens to be far too much work. We love being able to grow so much of our food supply and I consider growing it myself far more enjoyable than going to the stores to buy it. H http://ahandmadelife.blogspot.com/

paul gardener
9/17/2008 10:38:10 AM

On the one hand I can, sadly, report much of the same in my area. My wife and I looked into selling our home and relocating last year (to acquire more land to garden and raise livestock btw.) and our gardens were one thing that our realtor wasn't necessarily excited about as a selling point. On the upside, I try to make myself available to my neighbors and friends to help them plan food gardens whenever they ask about it. I hadn't had much interest until just recently but now I have three families looking to install vegetable gardens for next year. As food goes up I think we'll see the shift in perspective. Very good blog by the way, I slid on over from Homesteading Neophyte, and look forward to reading more! P~ http://apaetoday.blogspot.com

9/10/2008 8:47:50 PM

I think with all of the two income or single family households and kids in every activity imaginable, a garden is treated as another time consuming activity rather than something enjoyable for a family to do. I never thought I would grow my own food, but have recently made an attempt at gardening. I have a full-time job and a son that is very active, but I like the thought of knowing that I have grown some of what we are eating. I also like the thought of the money that is being saved at the grocery store each week. This year wasn't so productive, but we're already making plans for next spring.

9/10/2008 7:10:55 PM

I have noticed the same thing. While professional (and often unimaginative) landscaping has become quite common, along with crews of workers to maintain the landscape, true gardens have become rare. Lately I have begun to wonder if the rise in fuel prices leading to higher costs for both agriculture and transportation may lead to the return of the home garden. Backyards of recently built houses are smaller than they once were, but there is still room for a fruit tree or two and a vegetable plot, along with some fresh herbs. Add some flowers in the front and you may not even need to waste space and effort on a lawn.

david grubba
9/10/2008 3:01:59 PM

well, this just makes me sad, but I suppose I have noticed the disdain for growing things that makes Samwise Gamgee truly fear Mordor. Excuse the lame allusion, but this is exactly what Mr Tolkien was talking about, no? Gardens have become the work of immigrant laborers, no longer an extension of the home (and the kitchen!).

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