If you love to garden, the idea of downsizing in retirement and saying goodbye to your precious plants can seem devastating. Of course, a smaller home means a smaller garden, which does mean you’ll have less space to enjoy your hobby.
However, there is plenty of upside to a smaller garden. As you get older, you may not have the same energy to tackle the many jobs that keeping a large garden in good shape demands. And while it is possible to get in outside help, this will come at an expense. With a small garden though, the tasks are more manageable, which can lead to a more enjoyable space. And if you choose your plants wisely, the maintenance is minimal.
So, if you’re wondering if a smaller garden can satisfy your green thumb, read on to discover three ways to create a small garden you love in retirement.
The Colour and Variety of Containers
If you’re downsizing somewhere with little or no existing garden beds, some well-chosen pot plants can provide you with a wide variety of plants in even the smallest of spaces. Do you crave the colour of flowers in bloom? The style and structure of succulents? Or the enjoyment of growing your own vegies and herbs? With the right pot and conditions, they can all thrive.
When it comes to choosing a container, adequate drainage and the right size are key. Shop-bought pots are available in a huge array of colours, shapes, materials and price points, so pick the ones you like that fit your plants and your budget. You can also use all sorts of recycled items you might have around the house such as tin cans or an old wheelbarrow. Container gardening is fun, flexible and can become quite addictive. With the right drainage, soil, water and nutrients, your potted plants will provide you with many happy years of garden enjoyment minus the hard work.
Nothing Beats Home Grown Produce
Growing your own fresh produce is not only extremely satisfying, it’s also great for your health. And the good news is that you can still yield a bumper crop in a smaller garden. Whether you have a small patch in the earth, a corner that suits a raised garden bed, or a sunny area with room for a selection of pots, with planning and preparation you can be harvesting a variety of delicious produce year-round.
Soil preparation is your first priority, so spend time making sure the drainage and nutrients are adequate. When deciding what to plant, think about what you like to eat first. Then, where possible, grow the things that are expensive to buy in the supermarket. You can then narrow down the options, prioritising those that suit your climate and don’t need much space such as beans, beetroot, peas, rocket, spring onions, herbs, climbing plants and dwarf crops.
The Tranquillity of Indoor Plants
When you have a limited yard, it helps to remember that you can also enjoy the benefits of a beautiful garden inside. In recent times, indoor gardening has experienced a revival in interest. This has been due in part to the style a well-chosen plant can add to a room, but also the many health benefits of bringing the outdoors in.
Indoor plants can improve both your mood and your air quality. They also bring a sense of calm to any space that only nature can. For the best success, plant selection is critical. Not every plant will be happy inside, so pick the species that are tried and proven in these conditions. Follow the care instructions on the label for water and light, and your indoor garden can bring you much joy.
Bigger is Not Always Better
While your experience of gardening in a smaller space will be different to your days spent in a big backyard, it can still be really rewarding. Whether you opt for the colour and variety of an array of pots, the satisfaction of a bountiful harvest, or the beauty and tranquillity of indoor plants, a smaller space can be the ideal way to garden in retirement.
Over to You
Do you have a comment or suggestion for small garden success in retirement? Or a question about the size of the gardens at our Village? We’d love to hear it! Simply post a comment below or contact us on 03 5174 2384.