How many hours do you spend in your garden?

I started doing this blog last year on June 19th. As well as the normal gardening related material I started to record each week the number of hours that we had spent working on the garden. This was partly out of interest but also because whenever we open the garden the number one question is “How long to you spend doing this? or other variations such as “This must be a full time job!” or “How many gardeners do you have?”.

To be honest I had very little idea apart from knowing we worked very hard in the run up to an opening day. So lets see what we did:

blog hoursThe chart shows hours by week with the red line a three week centered moving average to smooth out some of the peaks and troughs. The zero weeks reflect when we were away and no gardening was done.

Note that the hours are gardening hours not the many hours we spend enjoying the garden or indeed writing the blog!

I had always assumed that we spent long hours prior to an opening. This year it was on 14th June and this is reflected in the peak on the right of the chart. I had always assumed that after the opening the garden more or less looked after itself. Last year it was on June 20th and, apart from a holiday straight after, the hours continued around 20 hours a week up until the middle of November. So I have revised my assumptions.

December and January are relatively low at around 10 hours a week but given that the lawn does not need cutting then, typically 2 to 3 hours a week in summer, they remain quite high.

So, in summary we have:

Gardening Hours
Week beginning June 10th Total since June 19th 2016 Average per week
48 1011 19

an average of 19 hours a week.

The total size of our land is about 0.9 acres. 17_06_14_6203The garden consist mainly of flower beds with a small vegetable area and a soft fruit cage. Over the years we have tried to make our garden relatively efficient. For example the lawns have long sweeping edges and have metal edging which makes cutting the grass easier etc. However, we do try to achieve succession planting which must increase the work load. I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has recorded their hours.

And last but not least the hours for this week are:

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning June 17th Total 2017 to-date Average per week
30 558 22

From now on I shall report on a calendar year.


10 thoughts on “How many hours do you spend in your garden?

  1. What a good idea. Where did you find the graph to fill in. I can see where I’m going wrong now. Only a few hours each week. No wonder my brambles are higher than me this year. The whole garden is being swamped by weeds. Last year being ill the whole year didn’t really help. And this year I’m still not up to full speed. Just pottering about. Next year when I give up work, there’s hope. But then the garden might be trashed as we re-build the house! There’s no hope. Thanks for your insight. I always wondered how long it would take to create a beautiful garden like yours. Have a good weekend. Karen x

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  2. Oh, Steve, I love this sort of exercise and the graph is a brilliant tool. No wonder your garden always looks so immaculate. Coincidentally, I’m just enjoying a break while totting up the hours guzzled up this week prior to our NGS Open Day on Sunday which amounts to 101 hours (includes logistics like signs, poster runs, etc., etc..) This is not far off the average of 120 for 3 months following the massive redevelopment of the 1/2 acre front garden back in 2012. Generally though, since then, the acre garden here runs at an of 15 hours a week late February to end October which isn’t bad really for the end result we enjoy. Couldn’t do it on such a ‘shoestring’ without my gorgeous grasses 😉.

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    • Thanks Kate, it is interesting to compare the time. Sounds like yours is similar. In the end it’s also down to how you design the garden. Good luck for Sunday.


  3. Hi Steve, although I don’t record my hours, I try to get in roughly 20 hours per week of gardening time. I work full-time, so that’s about all I can squeeze in, especially when you toss caring for hens, ducks, sheep and dogs into the mix! I have 52 acres (or so), but much of that is woodland. I’d say 5-6 acres is a combo of sheep pasture, orchard, vegetable garden and then the mixed borders around the farm house and barn. I strive for the perfection you seem to have attained in your garden, but alas, I suspect I may never achieve it. But the fun is in the trying, right? -Lynn

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  4. I’ve always noticed the hours you keep track of, but never realized how interesting it could be to see all the numbers tallied and tracked. That’s quite a bit of time and it has me wondering how much I put in here…
    I’m going to try and keep track of it a bit, but it’s so hard to separate out all those rest breaks and distractions when a new bird flies by or a a shady spot looks particularly inviting. I’m not the most productive garden worker and in all honesty would fire myself if there were any other hiring options!

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  5. You certainly put in a lot of hours and it shows, your beautiful garden is immaculate. I am impressed. Being married to a non-gardener, my garden has to manage as best it can as I try to juggle spending time on my obsession with doing things like walking or cycling together.

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