Gardening in retirement

Enjoying A Garden In Retirement

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22nd Apr Lifestyle

When we ask our homeowners what is important to them a few topics are often mentioned. They love seeing their friends and family. They value their continued independence. Quite high on the list is that they also like being able to enjoy a garden in their retirement.

Gardening is a national pastime, with 51% of the population over 55 saying that they enjoy gardening, however, as you age, it can become harder to continue doing the things you love. At Adlington, we want people to be able to carry on their hobbies throughout their lives, so we’ve produced a some tips on how to continue to enjoy a garden in retirement.  

Enjoying A Garden In Retirement

There’s a reason that gardening is such a popular activity in the UK. Firstly, gardening produces a great sense of satisfaction. Watching your hard work grow from a seed to a plant is a clear sign of your progress, and an excellent way to connect with nature. Apart from this, gardening is a great form of exercise for people of any age as it helps to increase your levels of physical activity, and can improve your flexibility. And with exercise often stated to also help prevent diseases like osteoporosis and reduce stress levels, it is a great way to improve well-being and engage with other people socially.  

Why Do Some People Struggle To Keep Gardening In Retirement? 

Despite the benefits, many older people struggle to keep gardening in retirement. This can be for a variety of reasons: 

  • Flexibility – Gardening requires bending over, crouching, reaching for things, carrying heavy objects and generally engaging in some physical activity. Many people start to struggle with mobility as they age and so gardening can become harder – particularly if you suffer from conditions like arthritis.  
  • Vision – Poor or decreasing eyesight can make gardening trickier too. Many parts of gardening require close or fiddly tasks, and vision issues can make this more challenging. 
  • Skin – As gardening requires spending time outside, sometimes in sunny weather, and as your skin thins as you age, exposure to sun can lead to skin damage if not carefully protected.  
  • Balance – Moving around the garden can prove difficult if you have issues with balance or mobility or find standing for long periods of time uncomfortable.  

Landscaped gardens

Tips For Gardening In Retirement 

None of these issues should prevent you from continuing to enjoy a garden as it is perfectly possible to keep gardening in retirement, with only minor adjustments to help make it easier.  

  • Raised Beds – Bending down or reaching for things can be a problem for people of all ages. To address this, raised beds with deep soil can enable you to grow many types of plants without needing to bend.  
  • Vertical Planting – Wall and trellis spaces can make planting and harvesting easier and more accessible.  
  • Tools and Equipment – There are many tools that make gardening easier – such as extending your reach or improving your grip. Long handled secateurs and trowels can help make gardening easier, and kneelers can help support weaker knees.  
  • Planning and Design – Changing your garden to include level and accessible paths, shaded areas or re-designed taps and watering systems can make your outdoor spaces more practical for later life. 

One of the simplest ways to enjoy a garden in retirement is to change the types of gardening you do. Other types of gardening can help to ensure that your hobby is possible without causing hurt or distress.  

  • Indoor Gardening – You don’t need to garden outside. If you find that getting around the garden is too difficult, it is easy to plant and cultivate a wide variety of plants indoors and on balconies.  
  • Reduced Lawns – Maintaining a lawn can take a lot of time and effort. Replacing your lawn with either a permanent solution like gravel, or a more temporary solution like false grass can help make your gardening easier.  
  • Low Maintenance Plants – Plants require different levels of maintenance. Perennials in particular only require planting once. Many plants can be bought at later stages of their development and therefore do not need to be sown. 
  • Automate – Automating systems can help reduce the workload of gardening. This can range from something simple or a range of spaced water butts to a more complicated automated electronic watering system.  

Adlington Retirement Living communities all have beautiful landscaped gardens. We want to make it as easy as possible for our homeowners to keep on spending time in their gardens, enjoying the well-being benefits while only needing to do as much work as they want to do.

We design our gardens to be accessible for everyone with flat and evenly accessible paths, designed to be usable throughout the year. We have a full-time team in charge of maintaining the gardens, so you don’t need to be involved in any work that you do not want to. We also have raised and accessible beds for our homeowners to grow their own plants in, if they choose.  

We find that our homeowners take full use of the gardens at their Adlington communities, and they are able to keep gardening in retirement for longer. Learn more about the lifestyle in our communities here.  

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