Do you have a "bucket list" that's all about traveling the world after retirement? Is the excitement of keeping up with the list blinding you to other important aspects of post-retirement planning?
One design principle of Elderyarding® is to plan for change in your landscape through the years ahead.
Plan for change??? What is she talking about?
Do you imagine that people immediately start going downhill when they hit middle age? Surprise! Aging today is more like a subtle, almost invisible slope with a short quick drop at the end of life. For those of us in middle age, boy, is that good news!
If your bucket list is all about travel, perhaps you've already simplified the work needed to maintain your yard. But have you also planned for later alterations in your yard to support your life when you decide to rest after your travel adventures?
The gravel solution - maybe not
Here's a photo of a yard that's mainly gravel with small beds of plants surrounded by rocks. The stones are rounded pea gravel about 4 inches deep. This yard can be easily maintained by homeowners in their 50's and 60's who are busy traveling to check off all the items on that bucket list.
But, what if the husband needs a walker in his 70's due to old football injuries in his knees? He can't prune and pull weeds any more because the gravel is not walker-friendly. By the time he's in his 80's and needs a wheelchair, he can only look at the garden from inside. There's no solid surface for him to use.
Say the wife has osteoporosis and arthritis which progresses. She could easily fall and break a hip when hauling hoses to water those flower beds because pea gravel rolls underfoot.
An example of how a design may change
Take a closer look at that top photo - the potager at a French castle. No, I'm not recommending we all move to French castles - they can be drafty and hard to heat!
Notice the gravel. It's clearly useful and appropriate now. But can you see how the gravel could become a brick, stone or concrete paver or solid concrete walkway if needed?
When you understand how aging happens to all of us, and how your unique body is likely to age, it's easy to think through how your yard can change with you to provide safety and pleasure for many years to come. Ready for an Elderyarding® design? Second Summer can help.
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