September 23, 2011
Don’t retire that green thumb just yet. You can still grow flowers and vegetables, perhaps while cultivating new friendships or renewing old ones.
Q. I’m a 75-year-old woman who loves to garden and often did so with my husband, who died last year. It’s not as much fun now that he’s gone. What are ways that I can get involved in gardening with others?
Gardening is a great hobby for any age and is consistently listed among the most popular activities for seniors everywhere. Does your community have a garden club? If so, that’s one great way to get involved.
Perhaps you could contact a nursery and offer your services. They might have part-time or volunteer positions open. If you’re interested in being a mentor, a nursery also could connect you with organizations and individuals who would love to benefit from your expertise.
How about this: Look around your neighborhood for vacant plots of land and find out who owns them. Then, approach the owner about organizing a vegetable or flower garden. Find a few neighbors who want to help. Those who participate can then share in the fruits of their labor.
Do the grounds around your church or synagogue need sprucing up? If so, you just might be the person for the job. Many houses of worship maintain their properties with volunteer help.
Do you have a friend who likes to garden? Why not do a joint project – your friend takes half of the garden and you take the other half. You could even have a friendly competition. Who can grow the largest tomatoes?
Perhaps you could help a neighbor or friend who can’t garden anymore. Contact your local nursery for information on container gardens, which feature vegetables, herbs or flowers in a single pot. Pot one for a friend, place it on a deck, help fertilize and water the garden, and he or she can watch the garden grow. As a result, you can help someone who can no longer participate in the hobby.
If you don’t know many people in your community, consider hiring a non-medical caregiver, such as one from the local Home Instead Senior Care® office. Many of the organization’s CAREGiversSM love to garden and will serve as a companion to help you.
A CAREGiver also could assist you with other hobbies as well as tasks such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation, errands and shopping. CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured, and efforts are made to match clients with CAREGivers of similar interests.
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