Will your "ideal yard" still suit you as you age?

Getting older is a tough subject for us Baby Boomers, and an important one for an aging-in-place garden. It can also be a fascinating journey to learn more about ourselves.

What does your “ideal yard” look like?

[PIC] Weeping birch tree
[PIC] Weeping birch tree

If you make a list, that perfect yard may include:

  • A smooth green yard that’s easy to take care of
  • Plants that look pretty year-round when seen by neighbors or people driving by
  • A tree in the middle of the front yard
  • Evergreen shrubs or fencing to hide the trash and recycling cans
  • Attractive plants around the foundation of the house

This is the typical landscape found around most homes. It’s the yard that’s standard for the neighborhood and fits in with everyone else’s. In the same way that developers put the same roof on all the homes in a subdivision, they install five plants from their palette of nine in front of the houses. When you drive through a subdivision, you can identify which ones have detailed restrictive covenants. You can quickly determine which ones have powerful homeowners associations. All of the yards look similar. The yards look neat and well-maintained. They look cared-for.

But what if it’s time to consider changing your vision of the ideal yard? Recognizing that change will happen to our bodies may mean it’s time for an ideal yard:

that is unique, that is custom-fit for you, the homeowners, that is designed around how you individually perceive nature, that provides support, healing, and living well for your lifetime.

What if you try sensory exercises and discover a hidden longing for a sculpture garden instead of lawn in the front, a garden where you can touch rough or smooth stone, feel how it’s warm or cool in sun or clouds? Maybe you want a mix of high and low shrubs with fuzzy or smooth leaves, too. What if you yearn for a tall flowering tree with a bench by the trunk where you sit in the sunlight and feel petals falling all around you in late spring? What if you want a weeping tree with branches so low you stoop under, and in stooping you notice frost has touched the ground cover here, and it’s turning red.

Maybe it’s time for your yard or garden to say it's an aging-in-place design, and Elderyarding® design. Maybe it's time for a new perspective, for an ideal yard designed to care for the people who live there instead. Second Summer can help you transform your yard into an ageless garden.