To some, the point of gardening is to make your yard a beautiful place. People will either hire landscapers, find gardeners, or put hours of work into their garden to make it flourish. However, some prefer to garden because it is a leisurely activity. Nature can be a sanctuary from busy life, especially during quiet times of day. Following are some tips for seniors to make their gardening experience truly relaxing and fulfilling.
- Hire a little help – Hiring a landscaper or an expert can both be expensive and take away the fun of gardening. Instead, try a senior care service that offers companionship. With the little help from an aid, gardening can be much more enjoyable for the elder population. It is easier to have a little help with pulling out that heavy hose, and some company never hurt. Make gardening a social activity to get the most out of it.
- Ease the strain – No matter your age, bending over and reaching can be strenuous for your lower back and joints. To avoid the amount of bending needed to tend to a senior’s garden, consider raised plant beds. With elevated plants, it is possible to garden standing up or simply sitting on the ledge while weeding and watering. Another way to avoid aches and pains is by adding some benches to the lawn near the garden or taking a portable stool around.
- Avoid extreme temperatures – Gardening during the noon and hottest times of the day can be grueling. Instead, seniors should make it part of their routine to wake up early and garden. Some also prefer to spend time outside in the evening.
- Protect yourself from nature – Wearing long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes can help you be safe from mosquitoes, bugs, and prickly plants. This is another reason to garden during cooler temperatures; you can comfortably wear more clothing. Rain boots and closed toed crocs are popular choices due to their comfort and water resistance.
- Stretch first – Even with benches or raised flower beds in place, stretching can prevent injuries and soreness. Elders should stretch their arms and lower back before setting out in their garden. Even when not gardening, stretches can help increase blood flow and prevent injuries from daily stress. Morning stretches can help you think more clearly and feel more alert and positive throughout the day.
- Research local plants – Although some people prefer to pepper their gardens with exotic plants, the easiest and most beautiful plants are often local. The flowers and greenery that naturally thrive in your state’s environment are the ones that will be the easiest and look the best in your backyard. For instance, in a dry environment, local plants will need less watering and survive droughts. The same applies to areas with heavy rain or extreme heat.
- Eat a healthy meal – Before trekking outside, eat a hearty meal. This will help give you endurance when standing for long periods of time and stay sharp when choosing the right pesticides and watering intervals.
- Install a sprinkler system – Water is heavy! Carrying a hose or a watering can around can be difficult and slow you down. If you, or your senior friend, are having difficulty lifting and carrying heavy items; consider getting a sprinkler system to keep your plants looking lively. An underground irrigation system will provide similar benefits. This article describes the different types of watering and their benefits for those who are willing to invest in an automatic system.
Following some simple steps can help bring joy and creativity to a senior’s garden. If you are in your golden years, don’t be scared to ask for a little help! And if you are trying to help a family member, be sure to lend a hand. To get the most out of your gardening, prepare yourself to make it a relaxing, leisurely experience.