In retirement, a garden should be a place of tranquility and gardening a pleasure. Plan your garden with retirement in mind to ensure peace of mind in the future.
Retirement Home Garden Design
Planing a garden to enjoy in retirement years should take in consideration the time and effort to complete each task.
The aim is not to eliminate garden work entirely, but focus on those areas that would bring pleasure and joy.
Many people decide to downsize when retiring, which implies starting on a brand new garden, and it can be difficult to part with plants you have nurtured with pride over the years.
Moving old plants to a new garden can have sentimental value, but visiting a local garden centre may be an opportunity to update to plants that are know to thrive in your area.
New plants, cultivated to be better in beauty and hardiness, can do better than the ones brought many years ago.
The main consideration when planning a retirement garden is to arrange all the element to keep work to required for good condition to a minimum.
Tasks like weeding, digging, pruning, staking, mowing and watering require the most effort and should go down as the garden evolves with careful planning.
Retirement Garden Plan
A plan of the garden, drawn to scale, is the first step to any garden design. In new retirement properties, those should be available from the construction or management company, but is always best to have your own drawings as a guide.
Using the building as a start line, use a mark the boundaries and the position of any fixtures like manhole covers, underground wires, pipes, etc, along with the features you wish to maintain.
A good retirement garden design would take in consideration:
- Lawn: Will grass be cut in regular intervals or is the area better used as a patio?
- Hedge or fences: Will hedges be cut in regular intervals or are fences less attractive but require less maintenance?
- Beds and borders: Can they be raised? Are they narrow enough to be easy to access?
- Paths and access: Are they at least 120 cm wide and with good drainage, laid flat and moss free?
- Steps: Should have hand rails, shallow risers and deep treads
- Green houses / vegetable plot: Although rewarding, demands a lot of time and energy
- Trees: Fallen leaves and branches can be a dangerous hazard. Carefully selected new trees.
Retirement Garden Features
- Sloping beds: Walls and banks are the ideal place for a rock garden. With alpine plants places directly between rocks, a stablished rock garden can bring colour and variety with little upkeep.
- Raised beds: Enables the gardener to work from below without bending and stooping, and can also be used as a retaining wall. Stone, brick, railway slippers and even old tyres can be used to build raised beds. Their height should not exceed 60cm for tending from a chair/wheelchair or 90cm if to be tended from a standing position
- Containers: The easies way to experiment with planting and displaying to the best advantage is container gardening. Those can be static like sinks, troughs and urns, or in seasonal containers like window boxes, hanging baskets and pots, that can be used anywhere for a touch of colour.