Tips for people-friendly
plantings- by Mary Fran McQuade
finding gardening more work and less fun, maybe it's time for a garden
Lawns are lovely, but
they're not always the best choice for the busy older gardener. Less
grass, more patio or deck could be more comfortable for you. You'll
still have plenty of energy for flowers, veggies and other growing
Trade in fussy turf for
tough groundcovers, especially if you garden in the shade. English
ivy (Hedera helix), lamium, bugleweed (Ajuga), periwinkle (Vinca
minor) and sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) are some possibilities.
Or install an array of dramatic, low-care ornamental grasses.
Move up from fiddly
annuals and perennials to well-behaved flowering shrubs. Dwarf and
slow-growing varieties are available that look good, fill space and
require little care.
Choose plants that give
you a big return for the effort you invest in them. Daffodils and
the small spring bulbs tend to be long-lived and increase over time.
Tulips and lilies are more temperamental, and tender
summer-flowering bulbs have to be lifted and toted inside each year.
Herbs are particularly
people-friendly. Most are happy in containers and can join you
indoors through the winter. They look good, smell great and are easy
to care for. Plus, they're handy to toss in salads or the soup pot.
Bring your garden within
reach by gardening in planters, raised beds or containers. All are a
great solution for people with limited mobility or who tire easily.
They combine well with deck and patio layouts, too.
You can grow almost
anything in a container today, from tomatoes to flowers to vines and
small trees. Make sure your planters have drainage holes and use a
loose soil mix with lots of perlite or vermiculite to allow roots to
Adapt your garden to your lifestyle
and live -- and garden -- happily ever after.
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