10 July 2017

Greener fingers

Are you already an active gardener? Do you like the idea of getting your hands dirty, or even eating your own produce?

We’re convinced there’s very little that beats spending time outdoors, enjoying fresh air or growing your own fruit, vegetables and flowers. And it’s something you can do in your own time or with family, grandchildren and friends.

Getting started

If you have more time on your hands now, you might find it easier to enjoy gardening as part of your weekly routine. Retirement can present a great opportunity to get your gardening gloves well and truly on.

Whether you have a patch, a plot, or an allotment, part of the fun is in planning and creating a garden that can grow with you to meet your needs.

Raised beds
Raised beds are easy to build (it doesn’t have to be railway sleepers, breeze blocks or bricks work just as well), and adapted tools make them easy to access even from a wheelchair. Best of all, a raised bed is the ideal place to grow root vegetables – well-aerated soil is what they love most.

Safer paths
Gravel is cheap, and grass grows year round usually – but paths may be safer as you get older. Think about planning paths that will be wide enough to accommodate the wheelie-bin and make sure they’re paved with non-slip materials.

Sheds and greenhouses
Everyone loves pottering – it doesn’t have to be in a wooden shed. DIY stores sell kit-form plastic greenhouses that are easy to put up, and perfect for growing soft fruits and tomatoes, as well as smaller shrubs that prefer the warmth.

Garden lighting
Solar panels have become much cheaper recently, which means there’s an abundance of low-level lighting available on a much smaller budget. Motion-detector lamps in the garden are incredibly useful, not only for making sure you can see where you’re going, but also as a security measure.

Remember, DIY stores and garden nurseries often have notice boards where you’ll find details of local gardening clubs – and discounts, too.