To me, "gardening" refers to planting edibles or flowers in a designated garden bed. "Yard work" refers to any general property maintenance, like raking leaves, mowing the lawn or blowing the driveway. Yard work is the chore, before I get to play in the garden.
I didn't have a chance to finish my fall clean-up, and my neglected yard is having its revenge. Heavy, wet leaves cover the lawn, requiring a firm rake, as opposed to a blower. The grass could have used one more mowing in November. Additionally, winter weather damaged numerous trees and I didn't prune much last year.
With the Seattle weather in the glorious 50's this weekend, I wasted no time dragging a rake around a portion of my two acre yard. I also finished some pruning, killed some blackberry bushes, scraped the mud out of a clogged drain on my driveway, blew the driveway and sport court and played "whack-a-doo" with some encroaching "sticker bushes", to the delight of my pre-schooler.
Today was the first time my daughter was old enough to stick around and "help" or play nearby. I could keep an eye on her, which allowed me more time to work. Last year she would wander away and it made finishing projects more difficult. Hopefully, this spring and summer I'll be able to include her if we get around to starting a much-anticipated vegetable garden. I feel like I'm setting a good example by working in the yard. After all, I learned my gardening skills from my parents and grand parents... and the internet.