Keep Calm and Garden On

Aging is not for sissies

Are you one of the millions of gardeners who have silently wondered how long you can continue gardening because of physical issues in your body? It can happen to any of us … that moment when you suddenly realize you have a ‘new norm’ of what you can no longer do, safely or comfortably in your garden.

What are you going to do? First, you can take comfort because you are not alone! There are 78 million Baby Boomers becoming seniors, going through what you are going through. Baby Boomers don’t easily throw in the towel, give in, nor do they easily give up. That’s exactly the kind of attitude we want as we age. It helps us be resilient and accepting of ‘what is’. It’s important to remember you do have a choice. You can be depressed because your body doesn’t work the way it used to, or look around for another way to get it done.

Adaptive Gardening to the rescue

Do you suffer from a bad back or hips? I was once incapacitated for six weeks lying flat on my back. I could barely walk, so gardening was out of the question and that made me sad. After two weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I heard my Mom’s voice in my head saying, “Basta, Toni!” (Enough!)

“In a dark time, the eye begins to see.”

Years ago I was a member of the National Speakers Association and had the pleasure of meeting Cavett Robert, who was the organization’s founder. He was known for his folksy way of putting things and he used that quote often. It didn’t fully sink in at the time, but now I know: when you’re in pain, it can be a very dark time. I decided to devote my downtime to research adaptive gardening. An article I read about it was intriguing to me and I thought this information was important for all gardeners to know. It made me want to share it with as many of them as possible.

“With A Little Help From My Friends”

Remember that Beatles song? Now more than ever, it’s true. We can get by with the help of our community and learning how to adapt garden chores can be as easy as talking to your friends or neighbors. Ask them to recommend who you could hire to climb a ladder with a power tool to trim your hedges. Better yet, decide what needs to be done and have a garden work party. Reward them by serving salads adorned with edible flowers and refreshing basil lavender lemonade, or better yet, a glass of wine!

Treat Yourself!

This Mother’s Day, treat yourself to a new pair of suede and leather rose gauntlet gloves. You will cherish them like a best friend because of how well they protect you when you’re pruning roses or berries. Or, look for lightweight gloves with carbon fiber fingertips. They are cool because you can answer your phone without removing your glove. Shop for a good quality non-kink lightweight hose. You will thank yourself every time you use it.

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