A Curated List of Aging In Place Gardening Books for Elderyarding®

Man reading outdoors - Second Summer garden design blog

Man reading outdoors - Second Summer garden design blog

Gardening Books for Elderyarding® Practitioners or Wannabes

No matter where you live, winter is often the time for daydreaming about gardens. Maybe you're already a gardener, and you're dreaming about new planting for the spring. Or perhaps you're thinking about starting a garden because you remember how much fun the family garden provided when you were growing up. Or maybe you're becoming more health conscious and wondering whether gardening might be an alternative for sustainable food safety. 

This week's blog is here to help! What follows is a curated list of great books full of fantastic ideas for gardening if you're getting older. These books cover an enormous range of topics. Even those that were written some time ago have fabulous solutions and introduce ideas you may not have thought about.

First, Patty Cassidy's books:

The Illustrated Practical Guide to Gardening for Seniors: How to maintain your outside space with ease into retirement and beyond

The Age-Proof Garden: 101 Practical ideas and projects for stress-free, low maintenance senior gardening, shown step-by-step in more than 500 photographs

Cassidy is passionate about the topic of gardening as you age in place. She starts with the premise that you've recognized that you may not be able to continue gardening the way you always have and you're ready to plan for the future. It's an Elderyarding® approach told from the perspective of someone who is right there with you. 

Her books are down-to-earth, written by someone who is experiencing the same challenges like joint stiffness, less control of hands, limited movement in the knees, changing eyesight, less energy, and less overall strength, even without joint stiffness.

She offers plenty of practical suggestions. For example, try working on one position for only short periods. Cassidy includes lovely, fun projects that you can take on and follow through to completion. Unlike YouTube videos, you can take the book right into the garden with you and follow her easy step-by-step instructions.

Gardening Books that Consider Accessibility

Disability and the need for accessible gardening can be relevant to people of any age. The following gardening books have specific examples for older gardeners. The vertical gardening trend concentrates on one aspect of accessible solutions, whether it's gardening on trellises, or using raised beds and containers. But they also offer plenty of ideas for ergonomic tools and equipment, although some of these tools, and, no, even these tools are not perfect for all users and all situations yet. Much lighter and stronger tools are limited. Quality in manufacturing is still missing when it comes to accessibility for gardens. A supposedly ergonomic trowel that falls apart the first time you use it can be incredibly frustrating to a gardener, and for many of us, result in injury.

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Two extraordinary ideas you'll find in these gardening books that may surprise you – how to create a straw bale garden box and a reminder to consider furniture such as a wheelchair accessible picnic table to make experiencing the garden enjoyable for everyone.

Here are some of my favorite gardening books:

Gardening for Seniors: Joyous Activities for Elderly Gardeners with Tips for Reduced Mobility by Andrea Kalli

This book provides you with inspiration to start or continue gardening. Thestart. change or maintain book will help you to discover the joy that gardening brings and the many benefits it offers as you get older, both physically and mentally.

Accessible Gardening: Tips and Techniques for Seniors and the Disabled- by Joann Woy

An oldies but a goodie! This book is full of tips and techniques for the special-needs gardener, including garden construction, lawn care, soil testing and information on indoor gardening.

Enabling Garden: Creating Barrier-Free Gardens  - by Gene Rothert

Considerations for really well-designed functional, navigable garden spaces, this book looks at paths, containers, vertical gardens and useful tools. It also offers suggestions on plant selection and garden planning.

Stand Up and Garden: The no-digging, no-tilling, no-stooping approach to growing vegetables and herbs  - by Mary Moss Sprague.

The perfect book for getting into gardening with family and grandkids. This book focuses on containers, trellises, and raised beds and shows readers how everyone can garden, including those with physical limitations like arthritis, or location limitations, like apartment dwellers without yard space.

Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities: A Guide to Methods, Tools Plants -  by Janeen R Adil (covers the basics in a $0.99 Kindle edition)

This book provides a wealth of information on developing, planting and maintaining a garden for those with limited mobility.

And finally, a thoughtful book by author Sydney Eddison:

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

This book includes real-life stories about finding people to help with your garden and describes a provocative consideration for changing-up your high maintenance lawn.

If you've ever thought about how you could start, change or maintain your garden as you age in place, one of these titles could be a great jumping-off point to prepare for the coming spring. And a nice hint to relatives about a special day or holiday present for yout

Ann Yakimovicz