Does your yard nurture you?

In my last post, I asked how far you had moved toward the simple, easy to manage yard. That streamlined

Woman up close and personal with rhododendrons
Woman up close and personal with rhododendrons

yard may require little maintenance. It may be a modern design. You may even have had a landscape architect or garden designer install a landscape that demonstrates today's design trends or shows how successfully the designer can interpret his or her own vision.

But what's that yard doing for you?

The State of the Nation's Housing Report from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies found that 78% of homeowners plan to stay in their homes. Seventy-eight percent! Your residential landscape should be the keystone for living well throughout your life. Studies show that yards and gardens that are rich and complex offer tremendous value in terms of reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, supporting and strengthening memory, encouraging physical exercise, restoring the spirit.  It's not

  • a pass-through space from the garage or mailbox
  • an area that shows the neighbors how neat and tidy you can be
  • a static space managed to meet homeowners association requirements
  • a green apron for a shrub necklace surrounding your house.

Is that yard helping you to age well? If not, why not?

A rich and complex landscape can come about in many ways. The first step is to determine how you want to use the yard. Yes, I said "use."  You've got to use your yard to benefit. You've got to turn your yard into a 3-dimensional vitamin that goes beyond yoga and COQ10. So think about it. How do you want to use your yard, explore that natural space, now? What about when you're 75? 85? 95? The landscape design should be unique to you, to your needs and your sensory reactions to nature. It should be flexible and adaptable so it can change as you do, nurturing you for a lifetime.

If your landscape it's contributing to your health and well-being in a nurturing way, take steps to change that now. You'll be one of that 78% living well in your home for a lifetime! What's stopping you? Call Second Summer now.

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