There's nothing quite like the joy and satisfaction a true gardener finds as they nurture their plants and watch them flourish. With the passage of time, experience and skill also grow.
Unfortunately, with this same passage of years, the mature gardener may be challenged by pain and stiffness.
You may not be as strong or flexible as you used to be. Getting down to the dirt and getting back up after may not be as easy as it once was.
But you learned a thing or two in all those years of gardening, and there are ways to stay in communion with that beautiful soil.
For senior gardeners who are challenged by joint and muscle pain and stiffness, innovations are available.
Consider gardening gloves with strategically placed padding. Look for tools that are constructed to work with, not against, the natural shape and movement of your hands and arms.
Choose tools with long handles or extensions, to be used while you sit rather than stand, squat or hunch. Park yourself on a stool or chair whenever possible.
A wheelbarrow, a tiller or other tools need not be heavy or cumbersome to maneuver. Be on the lookout for tools that are lighter-weight than conventional ones.
Kneeling stools with handles are a boon for those who have trouble getting up or down, or who have bad knees.
A trellis or vertical garden will save you from bending and possibly straining a muscle or two. It will also show off your plants from a new and more visible perspective, and give you new scope for creativity.
Avoid the peak sunshine hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and keep yourself well hydrated. Caffeine is dehydrating so steer clear of coffee, non-herbal tea and colas.
Gardening is the second most popular physical activity among seniors who are 65 years of age or older, just after walking.
The National Gardening Association reported that gardening goes on in 91 million American homes. Of these, 28 million are homes that house gardeners who are seniors 55 years of age or older.
Is gardening worth the trouble as you get older and find some aspects to be physically taxing?
Psychcentral.com says it is.