Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gardening as you get older

I had the privilege of visiting a truly lovely landscape created by a devoted gardener today.  She's worked with some excellent designers and landscapers over the years, and brings her gift of loving plants and gardening to her landscape.

Now, after 15+ years in her post-work landscape, and tussles with serious illnesses, it's hard to keep up everything, even with monthly landscape help.

My advice (as we were walking through a diversity of interesting and great plants) was basically to simplify and declutter.

This is not the time to keep adding herbaceous perennials that need tending, or propping up;  it's time to edit out things as they die back (or disappear) or aren't thriving, and simply mulch, instead -- it creates soothing space, just as a lawn does.

I suggested that she read Sydney Eddison's book Gardening for a Lifetime: How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older.  I haven't read it, but have seen very complimentary reviews. 

Eddison is now in her early 80's, so I know her book has wisdom in it, as she's a lifetime gardener, designer, etc.

I was inspired to come home and tackle a few of the messy focal points of my own garden (taking my own advice about what's currently bothering me in our landscape), and mindful that my gardening companion has been writing books for over a decade (and not spending much time gardening in the piedmont, aside from planting in our mountain landscape.)

So I was thankful for the inspiration!

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