We have half an acre of land here, just 2 miles (3 km) outside Saint-Aignan. That's more than enough land, actually. It gives us a sense of privacy, but it also requires a good amount of maintenance work. Right now, most of the outdoor work involves preparing the soil for the 2017 vegetable garden. And, of course, mowing, to keep the yard under control. The yard and garden are our main preoccupations right now. We have to keep up with the work and the seasons.
The tilling season is fairly short. It's hard work, however, because the rototiller is a heavy piece of equipment. And because the soil is mostly clay, which is very heavy when wet and almost like concrete when very dry. Right now, it's not too bad— it's just wet enough, not soggy — and yesterday morning I was able to do a second tilling pass on the garden plot. I'll till it two or three more times before we plant the garden in May or early June, to keep the weeds down and the soil loosened up.
Above is a photo of the garden plot from a little farther back, putting it into perspective. Half an acre is about 2000 m² (20,000 sq. ft.) The garden plot takes up only 100 m², or 1/20th of the yard. Our house has approximately that same 100 m² "footprint" on the ground (but it includes three levels — a ground-floor "basement", the main living space over that, and the finished attic space).
Finally, here's a shot from just outside our back fence, looking across the yard and vegetable garden plot toward the house. You can see that there is a feeling of spaciousness. It takes Walt two or three hours to mow all the grass, and how many times he has to mow it between March and November depends entirely on how much rain falls over the course of the season. Some years, mowing is a weekly or bi-weekly chore, but in dry years the grass needs cutting only once every 4 to 6 weeks.