Gardening in Retirement
An estimated 27 million people in the UK are involved in gardening and the activity remains a popular hobby for the British who are proud of their green spaces. For retired people who have spare time on their hands, gardening is an interesting pursuit with around 62% of adults 65 years and above engaged in the activity, according to a Lifestyles and social participation study by Carla Seddon. As a garden designer and landscape gardener Oxfordshire, it’s not difficult to imagine why gardening is a popular pastime that’s not only confined to the retired but also active and semi-retired adults. The activity offers many physical and mental benefits including relief from stress & depression, weight loss and improved motor skills. However, the effects of aging, have an impact on gardening making it important to build a garden that is suitable to the limitations of older adults.
Creating a simple garden for working retirees
If you are one of the less than 1.2 million retired people aged 65 years and above who continue to earn a living due to economic reasons or the desire to keep on working, you might not have enough time to spare in your garden. A plot that requires little maintenance is the best option to have greenery without the burden of heavy work.
Choose plants that are easy to grow and tolerant of difficult conditions. Repeat flowerers such as geraniums, bearded irises, lilies and roses are wonderful for your garden. Peony leaves and flowering shrubs are also low maintenance yet brighten a garden. You might have to cut back leaves or remove deadheads after the first flush but otherwise, these plants and flowers thrive on their own without a lot of attention from you.
A little paradise for senior gardeners
Even if you have a lot of time on your hands, gardening for seniors is faced by mobility challenges due to aging. Bending and squatting to weed plots are not easy tasks. Consider growing plants and flowers in pots and hanging planters. If you are keen in making a vegetable garden, invest in a sturdy raised vegetable garden that makes it easy to tend to your plants. The added height, usually a metre or more, eliminates stooping hard. Containers and pots should also be on caster wheels so you can move them around easily.
Limited mobility and dexterity may be an issue with aging, but there are tools that can help make gardening easier despite these restrictions. When choosing tools for your garden, get those with good traction or add foam handles for better grip. Grabbers and extension poles are other implements that you can use. Wheeled caddies are also useful to carry tools around or to move stuff from one place to another.
Full or partial retirement need not be a limitation to continue a beloved hobby or past time. By creating gardens that are suitable for older adults, there’s no reason why gardening can’t be productive, safe and fulfilling.