Spring is coming! Its arrival gives us a sense of renewal- time to get outdoors. All of us have an intuitive appreciation and enjoyment for the outdoors, even as we get older. Baby Boomer gardeners represent a strong shopping segment for many independent retail garden centers.
Following are suggestions for helping baby boomers continue to garden as age makes it a little more challenging.
Provide accessible entrances and paths creating a barrier-free garden
- Edging for ease of maintenance
- Mulches to conserve water, discourage weeds and ease of access
- Stepping stones and pathways to invite garden visits
Raised planting beds, growing containers and other structures that keep plants and soil at a comfortable working height
- elevated planting beds to reduce bending and stooping
- wheeled patio planters for ease of planter movement on patio
- patio pots for gardening in small spaces
- water wands for ease of irrigation application in containers
- soaker hoses for ease of irrigation in raised beds
- drip systems for ease of irrigation in landscape beds
- self-watering planters to lessen irrigation applications
Specialized tools and equipment can take advantage of limited abilities
- Garden kneelers to ease in bending and getting back up again
- Garden stools to ease in bending
- Garden carts to ease in moving garden supplies and debris
Plants are the easy part. Once the garden is adapted, grow what you want to grow.
- Flower pots are easy to care for, adaptable to small spaces and provide enjoyment
- Vegetables can easily be grown in container gardens or patio pots
- Perennials are a little more challenging in containers but terrific in ground beds
- Shrubs and trees are relatively easy to plant and once established require limited care
Some gardeners like to grow some of their own food – certainly one of the more tangible rewards. Others simply want a pot or two of colorful flowers to enjoy. There are so many simple ways to modify a landscape and equip the baby boomer gardener to garden forever.
Let’s face it; if we live long enough, traditional ground level gardening will be increasingly difficult – period. To stop gardening because of age is the worst thing that can happen to a gardener. With minor adaptations to the garden itself and a few carefully selected tools, anyone can stay involved in gardening and continue for a lifetime.