Yesterday I went to Springdale/Fayetteville Arkansas to hear Gerald Klingaman speak. The title of his talk was The Quest for a Sustainable Garden. (After 31 years as professor of horticulture, he now is the volunteer exec director of the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.)
When presenting his basic premise, Klingaman referred to his 80-20 rule for sustainable gardening: 80% of the garden should be plants that can take care of themselves for the most part, leaving the other 20% for your pet plants that are higher maintenance.
I couldn't help but think that if one had a garden well established with those 80% plants, one could take a year off of gardening altogether. Maybe one could spend a year traveling and reading instead of being a servant to one's garden. Hmmmm.
Back when I taught management and quality classes, we called that the Pareto Principle. For example 80% of problems come from 20% of customers, 80% of profit comes from 20% of products, and 80% of productivity comes from 20% of your time at work. And, in economics, 80% of property is owned by 20% of the people.
If 80% of my garden is supposed to be relatively work free, only 20% of my garden should be demanding large blocks of my time.
I think I'm doing something wrong.