If I was to hoover a room in the house that would be housework, if was to rake the lawn that would be gardening. If I was to dust a shelf that would also be housework but deadheading my roses is gardening. It would be wonderful to love housework, to get great pleasure from mopping a floor or scrubbing a shower but for me (and I imagine most people) this is never going to be the case. I do however love gardening, but this doesn’t mean that maintaining a high level of tidiness and decorum outside the house should be treated any differently from doing the same inside. It takes a lot or work and organisation to keep even a mediocre garden looking in good shape with all of the propagation, watering and general upkeep of the plants.
For some lucky people this is a job, this what they do most of the day for most days of the week but like any job, however fun, it’s nice to take a break and relax. This point for me shows that for gardeners it’s OK to say “I’ve done enough, I going to stop and do something else for a while, that isn’t hoovering”.
I like to treat my outdoor spaces in the same way that I treat my indoor ones, I like to keep them tidy and looking nice. That’s not to say that it doesn’t appreciate a certain degree of neglect, I’m also not one for living in a sterile lifeless environment. The hoovering doesn’t get done every week just as the lawn can be looking a bit dishevelled before it gets a trim, this adds to a more dramatic effect when I do finally get round to it. It’s easy to spend many hours outside just pottering from one job to another in a garden and maybe this is to do with the environment regardless of whether it’s inclement or not. I’ve spent many evenings in a cold potting shed making sure that I’ve got a stock of plants from the coming months or preparing beds to plant a season of vegetables. I can’t say that I’ve often spent the same evening time dedicating myself to the upkeep of my house, but other than dust gathering or an increasing pile of clothes to be washed things stay pretty much the same. This is probably that there isn’t the same level of entropy in the house as outside, of course there is some and ultimately to the same degree, just much slower. The skirting boards that remain to be attached behind the bin will still be there in 6 months.
If I was to choose to do housework inside the house or outside then the latter would win every time though and I think that most people reading this would agree. To that end it does mean that there is a bias in the degree of ‘chore’ that each entails and there should be some weighting when comparing the two, but there are people who would say that it goes the other way too. For now though I’m sticking to my guns and saying that an hour spent in the garden is as worthy as an hour spent removing limescale from a shower screen or washing clothes!
Gardening is housework and you shouldn’t feel guilty for doing it, in fact feel proud of what you’ve achieved!