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Miss Floribunda: Gardening for seniors

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Posted on: February 8, 2012

Dear Miss Floribunda,
The days are getting longer and I should be looking forward to summer, but I’m not. Maybe because I’m getting on in years I find myself dreading the drudgery of mowing the lawn in the hot sun, weeding, pruning and all the hard work it takes to keep my garden beautiful.  I haven’t had good luck hiring others to do the work. I found my peonies run over, and new sprouts pulled up while vigorous mulberry seedlings were undisturbed. A neighbor offered me ivy cuttings as a groundcover, but it didn’t escape my notice that ivy is engulfing his whole garden, which is probably why he has so much to give away. Now, a couple of years ago, you wrote a column I found really useful. You recommended fall bulbs that don’t have to be replanted each year and which multiply. Do you have any other tips?
Getting Older on Oglethorpe Street

Dear Getting Older,
The experts I know have given me so many suggestions that I believe the best thing I can do is invite you to the March 17 joint meeting of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society and  Hyattsville Aging in Place. Aging in Place has grown apace since its beginnings as a  brainstorming group last January, seeking solutions to problems related to aging as well as to changes in the community that affect older people. It has now a Board of Directors and has influenced the City of Hyattsville to add a Senior Coordinator to its staff. At the moment of writing, Aging in Place is trying to get policies concerning snow removal modified. In addition it has mobilized the community to help residents of Friendship Arms: those who face the ordeal of moving; those who need furniture; those who need help taming clutter. HHS feels honored to share an event with this dynamic organization. At what I’m hoping will be the first in a series of talks on practical home gardening, Master Gardener Greg Dwyer will give a slide presentation entitled Container Gardening: Making Gardening Accessible for All, which of course should interest all apartment dwellers as well as seniors. In addition, he will inform you about special tools to help keep you off your knees and will even touch upon raised bed gardening – worth an entire meeting in itself.
The meeting and presentation will take place in the downstairs community room at the Hyattsville Municipal Center, 4310 Gallatin Street, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 17.  The Hyattsville Horticultural Society meets every third Saturday of the month, usually at the Municipal Center. Aging in Place also meets at the Municipal Center the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. I would encourage you to join both societies. Aging in Place will soon introduce a series of informational meetings on home safety and adaptation.  .



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