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The Simple Home: How to Make Gardening Easy for Seniors

Older woman standing next to dark pink flowers.
If you love gardening but can’t manage the work, how can you make gardening easier? 

Flowers and vegetables delight you, but as you age, it can be more and more difficult to manage your garden. However, being outdoors is also excellent for your health and mental wellbeing. How can you make gardening easier so that you can have the energy to enjoy the garden that you love? 

Simple Can Be Beautiful

When you want to make gardening easier, know that simple can be beautiful. Think about your priorities for your garden. Do you love to sit and snack in the garden? You could plant some tomato plants in self-watering containers close to a garden seat. Do you enjoy looking out your kitchen window onto your garden? Plant a low-maintenance, perennial, evergreen shrub in that location. Think about your priorities and work with them first so that you get what you want out of your garden without having to put in a tremendous amount of effort.

Plan for Each Season

Instead of adding annuals for color, make a plan to plant perennials that bloom in each season of the year. That way, you’ll have some lovely plants in bloom no matter the time of the year, and you won’t need to run to the garden store to buy more. The plants you choose will vary according to your local climate. Take a walk through your garden store in each season to determine what perennials are blooming and add some of those to your garden.

Eliminate or minimize seasonal garden tasks. Take this same approach when planning other aspects of outdoor maintenance and upkeep. For instance, choose siding that is low maintenance and add gutter guards to prevent the need to clean your gutters. Get the information you need – download our free gutter guide.

Choose Low Maintenance Plants 

Some plants require a lot of coddling, while others will grow and grow no matter what you do. As you get older, choose the latter. Consider plants that are: 

  • Perennial, so you don’t need to continue to plant them over time. For instance, many species of violets make a lovely groundcover and are perennial spring flowers.
  • Slow-growing, so that you don’t need to prune them very much. For instance, a yew hedge grows very slowly and maintains its shape well. 
  • Evergreen, so that you don’t need to pick up their leaves each winter. For instance, some species of fern do not die back in the winter: according to Hardy Ferns, “All Polystichums are evergreen with the exception of perhaps a couple.” 
  • Drought-tolerant, so that you don’t need to water them very much in the summer. Sedums are famously drought-tolerant and are diverse and beautiful low-growing plants.

Make Your Garden More Accessible 

As you get older, bending and kneeling get less pleasant. However, you can make gardening easier by adding devices that save you the effort. For instance, gardening in planters and window boxes allows you to raise the beds to your height so that you don’t need to bend down. If mobility is a challenge, consider adding pathways that are more even and placing some of your garden around a patio so that it’s easier to access. According to the Gardening Channel, “Long-handled tools make it easier to cultivate and weed.  Large diameter handles make it easier for people with limited hand strength to hold onto tools.” 

Wooden flower box filled with plants.
Higher raised beds can make gardening easier for seniors.

Reduce the Hazards in Your Garden

Gardening isn’t easy if it feels dangerous. If you have a lot of uneven ground in your garden, a messy garden with many tools lying about, or areas where water pools and ice forms, this can make your garden difficult to navigate. Reduce the hazards in your garden: add even garden pathways, storage areas for your garden tools when they are not in use, and a gutter cover to reduce water overflows from your gutters onto the lawn. Consider evening out some of your garden surfaces if your garden is very steep or has many holes where water pools.

At Harry Helmet, we’re dedicated to the development of your home and garden. Talk with us today about your roofing, awning, and gutter cover options: schedule a free estimate.

Written by Del Thebaud

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