Enjoy GRAND Magazine

for grandparents & those who love them


Posted on February 26, 2019 by Christine Crosby in gardening, grandparents, planting, seniors

Tips For Grandparents Who Garden

Guidance On Organizing Your Garden As You Get Older

Some people decide they want a maintenance-free garden when they get a little beyond retirement age and pave over the whole lot to save them from worrying about mowing the lawn, cutting back shrubs and doing the weeding. This can be a great shame, of course, especially if you currently enjoy the outdoors and your plants. That said, there are a number of tips you can follow that will make your garden easier to manage as you age and – potentially, at least – become less mobile. Read on to discover some of the best horticultural advice around for seniors who want to go on enjoying their plants.

Bring Your Garden Inside

Philodendron elegans, a superb house plant
Photo by LucaLuca

If looking after a large patch of land outside is becoming too much but you still want to enjoy your plants, then opt for some great house plants which you can grown in the home.

Whether or not you have a light-filled conservatory or summerhouse, plants like philodendrons are great when grown indoors and they are relatively easy to look after, too. They can put up with being forgotten about for a few weeks without trouble. Many will be fine if under-watered and will still come back looking good.

Aloes are also good house plants and growing them can even help to reduce your levels of stress, just like gardening outside.

Make Your Plants Accessible

Raised beds make maintenance jobs easier.
Photo by Kerstin Nemuth

A growing lack of mobility tends to be what puts seniors off gardening outdoors as they used to. If you do want to go on maintaining a rich variety of planting in your garden, then make things easier to get to.

Have a professional remove any high-maintenance plants which require regular pruning. In addition, you can raise your beds so that it is easier to get at them without needing to kneel down. Raised beds can be constructed easily enough and you don’t need to spend a lot. Once you get used to the idea of growing flowers and even vegetables in raised planters, you will wonder why you didn’t take this step before. Alternatively, investing in some black window box planters can not only make gardening easier, but also adds a lovely charm to the exterior of your home.

Even laborious jobs like weeding become easier when you do them at waist height. Even wheelchair-bound individuals can carry on gardening with a raised bed. Remember that gardening has plenty of health benefits so make the plants come to you rather than you go to them.

Redesign Your Garden

Zen gardens feature pebbles rather than much planting
Photo by Rennett Stowe

It is really good advice to alter the design of your garden as you get older so that it will meet your future needs. Act now before you give up on the idea and end up not enjoying your garden!

You can do this by removing some beds entirely, for example, and replacing one or two with swathes of prairie-style planting instead, something which needs virtually no maintenance at all. If you still like the look of a formal garden, then how about installing artificial grass for your lawn so that you don’t need to worry about mowing it every weekend in the summer?

Another good idea is to used pebbles and shingle for ground cover which reduces your workload. Take your inspiration from some of the remarkable pebbled Zen gardens of Japan which have perfected this style.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Only $ 6.95

A Special eBook for New and Expecting GRANDparents

My Grand Baby ebook cover