Is there an elderly friend or relative in your life who loves gardening and otherwise spending outdoors but isn't quite up to the task of maintaining a large yard and garden area? Many people experience mobility issues as they age, but gardening enthusiasts don't have to give up one of their favorite pastimes simply because they can't get around the way they used to. Following are three landscape design strategies to keep seniors in the garden for as long as they want to be.
Have Raised Beds Installed
Raised beds provide an excellent way for seniors to easily access gardening space and are great for both flowers and vegetables. Make certain they aren't so large that their centers are difficult or impossible to reach. Raised beds are easy to build yourself using lumber and a hammer and nails, but you can also purchase raised beds that are ready made.
Provide Special Gardening Tools
Holding and using traditional gardening tools can be difficult for seniors who have arthritis in their hands and wrists. You can buy specialty tools with foam grips to make it easier for seniors to use them, and you can also purchase the grips separately and put them on existing tools. Other types of tools that make gardening easier for seniors are those with extension poles designed to act as grabbers for items that are difficult to reach. Also, if your senior is experiencing vision issues, consider getting them gardening tools with brightly colored handles.
Another great item that can make gardening more enjoyable for your senior loved one is an all-purpose garden caddy on wheels. It can hold tools, small bags of potting soil, seeds, and other necessary items. Some types even pull double duty as gardening stools. Because are many specialty gardening items designed for use by those with mobility and vision limitations, you'll never have to wonder what to buy your senior loved one for birthdays and holiday gifts again.
Provide Easy-to-Grow Plants
Some plants are easier to grows than others, so when giving your senior loved one a gift of seeds or nursery-grown plants, choose those that are easy to grow and don't require the use of pesticides. For instance, marigolds are naturally pest-resistant, making them an excellent option for those who like lots of bright, cheerful color in their garden. Your local landscape designer will be able to provide you with more advice on choosing low maintenance plants in your particular area.