A Little History

Welcome to my retirement, yard care, and gardening website: GrandpaGoesYard.com!  This name is meaningful on several levels, each will become evident in subsequent posts, as we get to know each other.

First a little background.  My wife passed away several years ago, my kids are grown, and I find myself staring at retirement over the next horizon.  The life that was once buzzing with the energy of family activities, endless business trips, and lengthy Honey-Do lists, is changing very quickly.  Given my profession as a CPA and later a systems analyst, I have always been a lifelong learner.  My experience has been, if you aren’t moving forward, you are waiting for the end.  As you will see later, this could be another forty or more years for me.  Longevity runs in both sides of the family tree.  My goal is to dance at each of my grandkid’s weddings.  And maybe even my great grandkid’s weddings after that.  We shall see.

I am excited to explore my love of yard work and pursue new hobbies such as gardening and landscaping. I’ve always enjoyed spending time outdoors. Tending to my yard has been a source of joy and relaxation for me. However, now that I have more time on my hands, I am ready to take my passion for yard work to the next level by diving into the worlds of yard care, gardening and possibly landscaping.  My priorities will always be family, friends, and a shared laugh!

Growing up, I spent many hours at my grandmother’s property, watching her tend to flowers, garden and create a botanical landscape that was truly spectacular. Grandma Kitty had a green thumb and could make anything grow. From vibrant flowers to juicy tomatoes, and even olive trees.  Not easy to do in the upper Midwest. Her garden was not only beautiful but also functional, providing fresh produce for our family throughout the summer months. I always admired her skill and dedication.  I am excited to follow in her footsteps.  Grandma was a very special person, far ahead of her time, and lived to be 106 years young.  To give you some perspective, she was born in 1896 and died shortly before her birthday in 2003.  One of a select group of humans who has ever lived in three different centuries.

As I embark on my landscaping and gardening journey, I am both excited and nervous. I know these pursuits require patience, dedication, and hard work. I am ready for the challenge. I want to create a beautiful and thriving garden that not only brings me joy, but also benefits the environment and local community.  There is a lot to learn, and there will countless opportunities to explore new an interesting fields. Pun intended.

At, GrandpaGoesYard.com, I’ll be sharing my experiences and tips as a enthusiastic gardener and landscaper novice. We will discuss varied aspects of gardening, from choosing the right plants for the climate to dealing with pests. You will be exposed to some of my favorite tools and resources, in addition to some fun DIY projects to help you enhance your garden and create a welcoming outdoor space.

My Love for Yard Work

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed working in my yard. Truth be told, maintaining the lawn has been an almost exclusive focus.  Translation, my grass can look good, with enough rain, but there is little else of distinction on my property at this time. But the mud is covered, for the most part.  Good thing I will soon have more time to correcting this glaring oversight.  Yard work, okay mowing the lawn, has always been my go-to form of stress relief.  It  always gave me an excuse to get outside, connect with nature, and give my wife the impression I was actually working on the Honey Do list. Riding an incredibly noisy mower afforded me the opportunity to truly unplug from the workweek grind.  If you every want to enjoy a Saturday, take a Zero Turn across three acres at a speed that does not feel like it should be legal.  Of course, only have a beer after the work is done.

Why Not Try Gardening?

While I’ve always enjoyed yard work, I’ve never taken on a full-fledged garden. Spending countless hours in airports, endless weeks at client facilities, and living out of a suitcase, made anything beyond taking care of the lawn a pipe-dream. Now that I should have more time in retirement, I’m excited to explore the world of gardening. This will allow me to augment my love of yard work. It will provide numerous health benefits, including physical activity, stress relief, and a sense of purpose.  The farm to table thing is taken pretty seriously in this part of the world.  So, why not my garden to table.

The Benefits of Gardening

In addition to the physical and mental health benefits, gardening also has real rewards in terms of the environment and the neighborhood. Gardening can help reduce carbon emissions by providing fresh, local produce, and it can also provide a habitat for relaxation. Gardening can also be a way to connect with others in my corner of the world who share a passion for plants and nature.  Not to mention, it keeps the grandkids engaged in a positive activity when they come to visit.  More on that topic in later post, as I am going to create my garden based on the things they like to eat.

Gardening and Simple Landscaping Projects

Starting a garden and landscaping can be overwhelming, but with some research and planning, it will be a rewarding experience. It’s important to consider factors such as climate, soil type, and sun exposure when choosing your plants and related items.  I live in a challenging (cold a hell) climate, so success may not happen overnight.  However, with enough perseverance, maybe I will hear Grandma’s words of encouragement echoing through time.  Grandma had an eerie resemblance to Vince Lombardi in both appearance and spirit, so that might not be a very big stretch.  It’s also important to choose plants that are well-suited for your skill level and the amount of time you have to dedicate to their care.  Be reasonable with your expectations and diligent with your efforts.

Tips and Tricks

Both Landscaping and Gardening require patience, dedication, and hard work, but there are ways to make the process easier and more enjoyable. From using the right tools and techniques to dealing with common pests and diseases, I’ll share some of my favorite tips and tricks for successful gardening.  Hopefully this will result in a communal dialog of support and insights shared amongst friends.

DIY Projects

In addition to growing plants, gardening and landscaping can also be a fun way to exercise your creativity and DIY skills. From building a raised garden bed to creating a trellis for your climbing plants, there are endless opportunities to enhance the environment.  You never really learn something until you try it a few times, fail a few times, and try continue to try a few more times; until you succeed.

Let’s begin.

Thank you for joining me on my gardening and yard care journey as a recent retiree. I hope GrandpaGoesYard.com inspires you to explore the world of gardening and all it has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner like me, there’s always something new to learn and discover in the world of plants. Let’s get our hands dirty and grow something beautiful together!  Join me on this journey as we explore the joys and challenges of gardening. Let’s learn from each other and grow together, one seed at a time.

If we are lucky, our garden will grow as well as our memories of this time in our lives.