"Maintaining the garden takes about 60 hours a week—but I love it!" —Joyce Hannaford, Natick, Massachusetts
Try reaching Joyce Hannaford in peak growing season and you may get nowhere. "I don't take my phone with me anymore," she says of her forays outside. "The last time, I left it in Zone 12—luckily before the sprinklers kicked on."
Wondering where that growing zone is on the map? Turns out Joyce has subdivided her own third-of-an-acre yard into a dozen irrigation zones fed by an automated system hooked up to a 150-foot-deep well. She still hauls 100 feet of hose around the garden, though. "I like to really soak certain plants. I do it late in the day. I find it soothing. It forces me to take a harder look at a spot."
Shown: After clearing a yard that had been ignored for years, homeowner Joyce Hannaford created two brick gathering spots surrounded by curved stone walls, conifers, and azaleas.