Guide Gardening for a Lifetime: How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older

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One of my favorites is called fothergilla Fothergilla major. It has nice white bottle-brush blossoms in May and spectacular fall foliage. Mine, after 15 years and very little pruning, is only 5 or 6 feet tall and wide. Weepers flow and bend, but do not get tall. Mine will never get more than 3 feet tall. The foliage is soft to the touch. Larches do well in wet soils, and are quite salt tolerant.

There are, in fact, dozens of trees and shrubs sold as miniatures. These miniatures do well in flower beds. I shall try one or both of those. Of course, as we get older, it makes sense to hire some help in the garden. I have been lucky to get a teenager who not only likes being outdoors, but likes gardening and knows the difference between a weed and a flower! Even 4 hours a week makes a big difference. Once beds are weeded out and mulched, the work of maintaining a garden is not too onerous — even for geezers.

Sydney is a friend of mine who lives in Connecticut, and has written many fine books. She has lots of good ideas, including the necessity to accept imperfections in the garden. Many good gardeners are perfectionists. Sydney also recommends getting rid of high maintenance plants and letting easy plants dominate. So grow plenty!

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As we get older, so do our trees, creating more shade. Embrace shaded areas as weeds are sun-lovers and there are plenty of fine perennials that will do well in shade. Want to grow wildflowers? Click here to learn more about them. And if you like an article, please share it with your friends. Facebook works great, or just copy the web address and e-mail it to your buddies.

I'm available to speak at your garden club or library.

Gardening for a Lifetime

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The Gardening Guy. Posted a year ago. Advertisement: Content continues below Sort order. Nov 12, Ginny Messina rated it really liked it. This is a delightful book—very chatty and fun to read and filled with really good advice. No photos—just some nice black and white drawings to illustrate her points. May 05, Kathy rated it liked it. Very good book and timely! My gardening takes longer every year. Need to garden smarter.

Enjoyably written and excellent advice. May 23, Rosario Beltran rated it really liked it. This was an interesting book. I like the book because it showed me a lot about plants and gave me a website to search on and it was amazing.


  1. Gardening for a Lifetime: How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older?
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  4. This was also interesting because it was actually teaching us how to grow a garden. I recommend this book who love gardening as a hobby. I also recomend this book for people who like interesting stuff. Jul 01, Jo Ann rated it really liked it. A friend had my number when she gave me this book as a gift I know the time to cut down on my beloved gardening is somewhere around the corner This author is so honest about where she was some years ago when she was in the exact same place as I, so her honesty and sharing about how she struggled to maintain a beautiful garden, yet cut down on the expense and high maintenance, is invaluable.

    I also learned a lot about new plants and their habits yes, Author Eddison A friend had my number when she gave me this book as a gift I also learned a lot about new plants and their habits yes, Author Eddison, the book also nudged me to try MORE rather than less, at times. So, I am still rather in denial, and not too much willing to make many changes May 10, Liz rated it it was amazing Shelves: garden-books. Recently widowed and now approaching the age of eighty, she has had to learn to chance her gardening style as her ability to handle the heavy work lessens. I find that the kind of low-maintenance gardening she has adapted fits my desires very well, even though I am still young enough to spend whole days digging and mulching.

    Her beloved daylilies, for example, used to require two hours of nightly dead-heading! Two hours! My poor daylilies are rarely dead-headed at all! Apr 14, Lisa rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction-gardening. It has occurred to me that I am no longer as limber and capable of bending over for hours, so I may need to simplify my gardens. This book gives an overall approach to simplifying the garden, such as substituting shrubs for perennials, making lists of tasks, letting part of your lawn become a meadow, etc.

    The book is interesting and has given me some things to think about! If you are a fan of this author, you will like this book. Otherwise, it has some good idea on how to downsize your garden or make it easier as you get older to take care of it. I would have liked to see color pictures of her garden and the plants she talks about. This book is for more serious gardeners who need to cut back. I was hoping for more ideas and inspiration.

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    Accept imperfections, as it says on the cover is probably the most helpful. Feb 10, Pam rated it liked it Shelves: garden. Most experienced gardeners will already know the advice that Sydney Eddison shares in this book but it is a good reminder to us all that as we age we need to simplify, reduce our perfectionist expectations, and move our gardens towards shrubs to minimize the work necessary to maintain them. Eddison's book is a warm memoir which was a delight to read. She has a nice chatty style, but it mostly obvious. Aug 05, Ellie rated it it was amazing. A treasure. Jul 14, Cindy rated it really liked it.

    Good read for avid gardeners who are not 25 anymore or have any physical limitations. Nice reminder that gardens, like people, can adapt. Jul 18, Nancy Bergman rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , read-it-more-than-once. A great book for the older gardener. Full of excellent ideas.

    Ways to ease your gardening workload – Beacon

    As I age, I find more and more ideas to adopt. Mar 17, Karen Floyd rated it really liked it. Sydney Eddison is warm, practical, humorous, grateful and, yes, wise. As gardeners get older we still have the grand schemes and pictures in our heads for our gardens, but our bodies, and often our finances, are no longer cooperative. Eddison tells us how she, and several of her gardening friends have made the adjustment to smaller gardens, or low care gardens, or contrainer gardens, so they can garden as long as possible.

    The first step, of course, is to accept the reality of one's limits. The next is to decide what plants you can't live without. I don't about you, but my list is too long and has too many plants that require a lot of attention. As in all other areas of life, compromises will have to be made. This book is not long, but it is sympathetic and helpful. Having recently turned 60, and with a creaky hip, and very ambitious plans still, of course, "Gardening for a Lifetime" has provided both a reality check, and ideas and plans for the future. This is an amazing book. It's almost like I went in the front of the book one person and came out at the end as someone else.

    I read slow and did a lot of thinking about gardening as I went along. When I started the book I was thinking, "Now, why is there no color in the illustrations.

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    Why didn't she take before and after pictures? This seems to just be a rambling account with no point. And the illustrations are charming. Sep 18, Jean rated it really liked it. My husband and I are retired and we have a huge garden. I think Ms. Eddison has some very good ideas about how to cut the work in the garden, which allows older folk to stay with their home and garden longer than one might anticipate.

    She has an excellent writing style and lists the highlights at the end of each chapter - just in case you are so busy in the garden right now, you don't have time for every word of the book. Well worth the read! Feb 15, Mlg rated it liked it Shelves: gardening. This book explores the challenges of gardening as the gardener ages. It offers practical advice for more low maintenance gardens and discusses hiring help, switching to shrubs rather than perennials, and gives some advice on low care plants.

    Choosing whether to leave or stay in a garden that has taken a good part of one's life to create is the hardest decision. I was pleased that in the end, this award winning gardener chose to stay and give up her quest for perfection.

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    View 1 comment. Shelves: gardening. A practical book for older gardeners who want to continue gardening but have physical limitations. Doesn't have the useful photographs of her earlier book The Self-taught Gardener. But she has line drawings to show changes she's made to her garden to allow her to keep gardening as she ages.