The best way to tell if your gardens and you are aging is to pay close attention to what is happening around you! IF you find that you aren’t able to get out in the garden as often OR stay as long as you used to (especially in the summer heat) YOU MIGHT BE AGING. Note: your garden will respond by having more and larger weeds in spaces that used to by filled by blooming “ribbon winning” bloomers. If when you stoop down to pull weeds or pick up limbs you fall over on your face or if you start buying all plants in 3-5 gallon plants instead of all 1 gallon containers, you get the drift (not the roses or other drift plants) the meaning! 🙂
Now some may find this depressing but do not despair! Here are some ideas that will give you a whole new outlook on your “garden situation”:
Hire somebody who needs work to do the yard work.
Switch to drought /heat resistant plants. Build a bird sanctuary.
Look to your community. Jr. High and High School students need projects to complete their studies in school [4 H/ FFA ]. Find out if some students would want to adopt your yard or part of it for a before and after project for school credit.
Buy annuals early and replant them in larger pots for 4-5 weeks and then plant them in the yard. The better root system will help transplant survival rate.
Most gardeners want the latest, best plants they can find! This means adding space for them all! To just MAINTAIN what you have and resist new plantings is very hard for the aging gardener! It means you have to make do with less and rely on others to do work you would do if you only could! It means cutting back on the amount of yard you have devoted to “The Garden”. So bite the bullet and cut back on the areas. You can let them go wild again OR cut paths through out the beds and still maintain the plants with much less work. Put down pine straw on the paths to maintain a “trail” effect.
If all else fails, pick out a small area in your yard that you can get to and work on without putting your self in danger and work on that area THIS year. This area can be your YARD to work in on those days when you feel like getting out in the yard and smelling the clean air and to get the satisfaction of a job well done.
LAST RESORT! Give up going out into the yard! Concentrate on a few “house plants”. Pick winners such cactus, African Violets, etc. Your local garden centers will be glad to suggest just the right plants for your situation.
“OLD gardeners never quit planting until they get planted.”