Lifelong, wow what a word. Merriam Webster defines this word as lasting or continuing through life. As a gardener, how we would love this concept to be very true at all stages of life. As we age or have disabilities, this word might be questionable. The possibilities of lifelong gardening is no longer a challenge, but a reality.
The Lifelong Gardener – Garden With Ease & Joy At Any Age, published by Timber Press is just what we need! Toni Gattone has written a book that examines how this word “lifelong” can become a reality. We are all aware of the challenges that reveal themselves to us as we mature. If you are used to gardening, bending, stooping, and squatting might be words of the past. There is a way, as this book demonstrates, to garden with ease and joy at any age.
Basta is one of my favorite new words as I #gardenwhileaging. An Italian word meaning “Enough”. Toni gives us permission to say, know, and realize when we have had enough gardening for the day. Utilizing tips from this book has allowed me to be honest and stop when I feel like it. Gardening smart is just common sense. Pushing it to the point of “Oh So Tired” is not something we can continue to practice safely. Using some simple tricks, we can garden safely and wisely as well. There are examples of this throughout the book, such as:
- adding a pouch for tools if you are using a walker
- sit down to work in the garden
- make those large projects digestible by making them several mini-projects
- find help for the tasks you can no longer comfortably do
It all seems like common sense, right? Toni honestly shares advice on functioning through, as well as easing the pain as our bodies change. Defining items like knee pain, hand strength, stamina, and more. What a great way to encourage embracing the inevitable so we can be lifelong gardeners.
Toni even advises the reader on tool decisions. Parting with our “garden friends” or tools to some can be hard. Instead, reassess what you really need and define its function. Determining the comfort, sentimental value, as well as the real purpose, is important. Whether or not you will ever really use it again will save time and possibly some pain. Some items just might be considered garden art – still usable with a memory attached.
From pruners, spades gloves, and more, Toni offers useable advice on how to garden no matter what age or disability. Lifelong as it pertains to gardening is something that at one time was inconceivable. As we age we might slow down. Just the thought of not gardening due to age or circumstance is unfathomable.
At the end of the book, Toni provides a space to create an action plan for lifelong gardening. It seems as though Toni wrote this book for any age or for a person with disabilities. The Lifelong Gardener – Garden With Ease & Joy At Any Age is perfect for gifting or for the aging gardener!