I'm not old enough to worry about this yet but I have watched my in-laws struggle with their small farm and the labor intensive irrigation, mowing, and other chores. They refuse to install and new equipment that would make these chores easier but at the same time they always complain about how they can't keep up with the work. I use many automatic systems, such as drip irrigation on a timer instead of dragging hoses and sprinklers around, so I think it will be easier for me to take care of my garden when I have less energy.
I have been converting all the annual plantings to perennials. That will save a lot of energy for later on but there is no way to downsize my gardens so I voted move to a smaller house with smaller gardens. Do you really think this will happen?
I'm letting the natural woods reclaim some of my plants and will only have perennial things from now on . Maybe keep a hyacinth bean planted every year. I have the want to's but the can't do's are fast taking over .
I have a small space and I think it will be just right as I get more chronologically endowed. I keep busy replacing some trees and ornamentals with plants that produce food. Just a pretty face doesn't cut it with me anymore!!!
LOL, if ever we needed the "Other" category this would be the time as I just plan on no change except for Dropping Dead right in the middle of it. Then Steve can light a fire and spread the ashes around! Oops, guess that is a plan!
I have been shifting the vegetable gardens to lasagna type gardens more and more each year. Most of the flowers around here are bulbs or rhisomes, and I have already started most of the trees and shubbery I want to have. Wolf's Rest Farm will become a more pleasant place year by year as Debbie and I move into our 60s and 70s. And, we have Grandchildren if it comes to that.
I'm putting everything on automatic drip systems and building raised beds so I don't have to bend as much and since they're 11" deep, it's easier to turn over the soil as well. I've planted fruit trees that don't get too large, no more than 10'-12', so I don't need a ladder to pick the fruit.
I voted help. I would love to have a hired hand come out to do the hard work and leave me to do the fun stuff. Digging up plants for example - I have a stand of Joe Pye that I've been meaning to move for 2 years but the root system is like concrete. This year...
In planning for the day when physical limitations overcome gardening, my flower beds are going over to perennials and shrubs. The lawn areas are almost gone, and vegetables are grown in containers. I will always do hanging baskets, but perhaps I will get help in hanging them. A long handled weeder is already part of the tool collection.
I will probably invest in a pole pruner.
Voted move to smaller house and less garden, which is nonsense, if I get any house at all it will be larger than where I now reside- same with gardens, but they won't be plowed, I will go raised style- one of these years, kinda suspect I will be the garden ornament as stiff as I seem to be getting-
i'm not going down without a fight. my plantings are mostly shrubs and perennials and i have sprinklers installed in the important spots.
moving? maybe, but i hope not.
we never really know what the future holds but i'd like to think i'll spend the rest of my days right here in umatilla, puttering around and possibly hiring help when i need it.
it's a depressing thought for such a damp, grey day...
I voted that I had planned ... Heh Heh. My yard is being attacked by invasives. I wish I had planned to have an intact garden to "putter around" in as trackinsand says. gardening keeps you young. And so does learning how to use a chain saw and build hugelkultur beds with the prunings. Shoveling, wheelbarrowing, digging, hauling, loading --- no help here to hire. All "able bodied men" are not mentally able. Hiring help is an invitation to having your tools destroyed, and anything valuable stolen and sold for drug money.
Right track ... Not going down without a fight, but the fight is pretty formidable.
I am not downsizing as much as I am refining what I have. Rather than having to have one of everything myself, I am using some discipline and enjoying those plants in public or other gardens. Like Pirl says, mulch is wonderful, I am using a lot of it. I used to want every inch covered with flowering plants and now I am concentrating more on shape and texture with some space between. The UPS guy just brought 100 dwarf mondo grass plugs - they look as pretty as grass but there is never any mowing. All the container plants are on drip irrigation but I am even cutting back on them. The fewer plants I have to worry about, the more I enjoy the remaining ones. For more years than I care to admit the garden owned me but I like it better now.
I agree with your thought that the owned me but now I'm enjoying it more.
If it's of any consolation to anyone reading this thread, the real PIRL was my former neighbor in a former home and she taught me to garden. She gardened until she was 88 and then arthritis got her back and legs. Then she gardened with a long handled weed puller and I did the planting for her. By 95 she had to give up. She only died at 102 so there is hope for all of us.
Here's the real PIRL, Pauline Isabelle Reid Loeffler, at 90 years old.
ok, i have to step in here. just when, may i ask, did ardesia become "the owner" of her garden? lol those plants own you still- lock, stock and barrel! lol i think i hear some wishful thinking in that post...wonder what phil would think of your comment...roflol
don't mind me, i'm slap happy from overwork...
i've always wondered what the real pirl looked like! thanks for sharing that picture and also for the story behind the name. i knew it but i didn't realize she lived to such a ripe old age and was still gardening almost to the end.
i am 76 yrs and very close to the next brackett and every yeay I take on more and more gardening jobs as long as I can get up and out gardening is what I want to do ..Now about them perrinials some of them are fine but truly the annuals are not any more work for me as I live in Southeastern Oklahoma which is bermuda grass central and left alone it will choke any and all other plants to death so i think for me a nice blend of the two is best i have avery extensive collection of Day Lillies and they are the least labor intensive plant I have but on the other hand the bloom period is very short But I hope when my time is up they will have pry my cold dead fingers from around my favorite hoe LLOL
Kristi and trackinsand: Mrs.Loeffler was a real gem and it was my privilege and honor to know her for so many years. I met her the day we moved into the Tudor and to the right was her 60 x 100 (typical for much of the northeast) lot, then her lovely Colonial home. Three years later my own mother died so Mrs. Loeffler became my "other mother". We'd have her over for Mother's Day and many times throughout the year.
She was (and always will be) the only person I've known who had lived in three centuries! She was born and raised in Albemarle, NC and became the social editor of her local paper. Every story seemed to end with, "...and a good time was had by all". All of her stories about growing up in the South, the slaughtering of pigs when she and her mother would go to town to avoid hearing the squealing of the pigs, her uncle who was in the Civil War, etc. were so entertaining
She loved visiting us out here and enjoying all the flowers and loved the vegetable garden.
Time changes everything and not always for the better. Her son suffered a stroke the night before the memorial service for Mrs. Loeffler and he died 25 days after her own death so the home was sold and the buyers had Mrs. Loeffler's home razed to put up a gigantic 4,000 square foot home. I do not go back to see the changes! I have so many wonderful memories of PIRL and they all make me smile.
Pirl. Enjoyed your Real Pirl story. She doesn't look 90. But then Ive noticed around here that country women who work hard in their gardens do look beautiful their whole lives. You would recognize them from their high school photographs. As for the others--age can make everyone look alike.
LOL Debi, you are so right but I am working at getting better. I am hitting those Wax Myrtles with gallons of RU and I'm ridding myself of the many, many pots of things I really didn't need in the first place. I do have those 100 dwarf mondos to plant this morning, that won't be fun but down the road I'll be glad I planted some no maintenance material for a change.
Pirl, your friend's name is so familiar to me I am going to have to look in my mother's old address book. I know she knew some Loefflers.
Re the survey, all of the above have occurred to me, and I might try to do some of all of them, but I will like many others just go the 'haighr' way!
After all is said and done, I think a garden is a reason to keep going!
I've turned over more and more of my gardening chores to my DH, who a younger than me. I didn't know how smart I was being when we got married, because gardening was not on my mind at the time. We have used a lot of mulch, raised beds,and replaced annuals with perrenials, so you all are on the right track. My ashes can go in the back corner garden where the black walnut trees used to be, and nothing seems to grow well, and I'll rest with my beloved pets in the little pet cemetary. Surprisingly, some of the shrub roses have survived back there and the sedum is holding it's own, so it's still a pretty spot.
tracks that is exactly what i felt at the time she went what a great way to end if you are a gardener ..Wonderfull lady, wife mother of ten grandmother of 40 Loved zinnias and Glads so of course i always plant some of those
I'm enjoying the stories and feelings ya' all shared. I have to admit the 'haighr' way does have it's appeal. The PIRL story was especially touching.
My wife and I are both in our early 60s and hope to have mostly perennial gardens in the future other than veggies and some annual color. Already, developing new hardscape and maintaining what we have is, well harder. Some of our hardscape is 30 years old and needing some major work, breaking it down to small segments makes it more doable. Using containers and raised beds help also. I'm all for new ideas and hope to install a drip system for the front of the house, since watering is one of our hardest summer chores. A year or so ago we found a 3x4' piece of kraft paper we had sketched a lot plan on 30 years or so ago. It was funny to see how close to our original ideas the gardens developed. Still growing. Ric & Holly
I have an average city lot and I can't see how downsizing my gardens will help any since there isn't a lot of space for many gardens to begin with. I like gardening too much to leave it up to others. I might get the neighbor kids to help me once in a while. I don't think any of the options fit me so I voted that I am already prepared. I have a greenhouse I could use if it ever came to that I would garden out of that only. Right now it is only used for a couple of tropicals and starting seeds.
[quote="digger9083"]Pod , my ex DH 's son had his dad cremated and spread his ashes in a garden planted with flowers . He has a sense of humor because he tells everyone his dad sure can grow beautiful flowers .[/quote]
What a good son ~ may need to borrow him when the time comes... lol
I remember when I first came to the South I visited my old landlord and his wife. They were worried about an elderly widowed neighbor. She didn't plant a garden this year. You know they say if a person doesn't get in their garden by Easter time, they won't make it through the rest of the year.
August 29 is the date they came up and if memory serves it was a short germination time The taste is very good but the skin gets tough when allowed to get that big but they stay firm and keep produce all winter ..i need to stop at the Co-Op today and check if they have it again ..The seeds came from a company over in Little Rock..did not have a specific variety on the package just said Winter Radish Kinda halfway sure it was The River Valley seed co.
Hey at least I had the right state the name of the seed company is River City seed PO Box 937 N. Little Rock Ark. 72115 the only place i see this company is at Poteau farmers Co-Op Poteau OK thats is Poe Toe in case you wanted to know how it is pronounced
Frogy then of course you know that Talihina is just over Bengal mountain from Red Oak My eye doctor is in Willburton our Primary is Dr. Jackson in McAlester and our vet is in Poteau.. We now have a doctor in Talihina also a vet and eye doctor But for years we had none of those so out of loyalty and trust we stick with our regulars ...
No the deer in the pen by the tracks is in Heavener,which is home to Heavener-Runestone Park accient runic (vikings alphabet) and they are real and located in a small steep canyon ..but very accesable due to rock steps and walkways built by the CCCs a very long time ago..frogy there is some wonderful old stone school buildings at Red Oak built in the 1930s and still in use
There is hope for us aging gardeners I volunteer as an instructer in a garden class each spring..I have 2 young men in the class that are WW2 vets another Korean vet that is 84 years young Now these men all have young wives 77 or so and I guess that keeps them goingLOL