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As we all know, real estate prices in California are completely unrealistic. So when my wife and I decided to move after the kids left for better and bigger things, like college, we decided to downsize and move to a place where she has wanted to live since we came to the Left Coast.
Part of this meant trading our 2,000 sq. ft. yard for a condo with a pocket-sized backyard and no front yard (except a little border that leads to the front door). A landscaping company manages and maintains our development and they do a fairly decent job.
While I did not miss mowing the lawn or trimming oversized bushes, or even cutting back the roses, I did not want to give up what makes gardening or working in the yard so much fun and fulfilling. Getting your hands dirty, thinking about how to improve the garden while keeping its essence, tinkering about which plants to add and remove, and all those sort of things.
The solution for me is what I call Microgardening. I enjoy playing with container plants, changing the look and improving on the design that was here before, and just tinkering with what to do next, all while making sure it stays immaculate. I have to admit it is not difficult when you are dealing with less than 300 sq. ft. of backyard with half of it being a deck where we can sit down, have a glass of wine and enjoy the relaxing view (even if it is fairly short). As far as I am concerned, gardening on this smaller scale is still extremely rewarding for the mind and spirit, even if nobody else realizes how much time you spend making sure it stays that way.
A garden doesn’t have to be huge to be enjoyed; even a fenced-in condo backyard can give you all the enjoyment and satisfaction a larger garden can, without the work!