Join Landscape Consultants HQ for our newsletter with professional landscaping advice. You can opt out at any time.

The Mature Gardener

the mature gardener, post-retirement landscapes

There are ways to enjoy stepping outside to experience the outdoors each season, even when you’ve lost the motivation to dig and lift and haul and saw. You could move into a residential development that provides landscape maintenance for you, or you could modify your existing landscape to fit a less physically-intensive lifestyle. Indoor home modification for seniors is a big thing right now. Why not do the same for your home landscape?

There are several things you can do to improve your comfort, convenience, self-reliance, and safety for the landscape if you are an older person who prefers to age in place. Make changes to meet your landscape needs later in life while in your fifties and sixties, at a gradual pace so you can enjoy the process.

Creating a freshly designed plan can help stimulate the change. Looking at the existing contours of the grade allows you to figure ways to provide accessibility through entrances and to and from activity areas. There’s nothing less attractive or that announces the vulnerability of the occupants of a house more than a hastily-constructed wheelchair ramp, awkwardly attached to the front steps. Modifying the grade to remove stepping obstacles in a way that incorporates interesting foliage color and texture is a better approach. Stairs will eventually become barriers. Design new grades to eliminate them and include fresh ornamental plant material according to a deliberate and thoughtful plan.

Consider adding decorative hand rails in strategic spots. Install interesting lighting along pathways. Fitting your landscape with new safety features can be a fun upgrade for the existing landscape and bring new excitement to a tired, routine yard. If modernization is artistically done, it can add considerable curb appeal to your home.

Reduce the turf area to a minimum, and clear out the clutter that comes with herbaceous perennials and messy shrubs. Focus the new design direction toward easy-care evergreens and groves of trees that provide their own self-mulching leaf litter. Limit high-maintenance seasonal color to large, waist-level plant containers near a water source.

Widen pathways and patios and be sure to bring the adjacent grade flush with the edge of pavement to prevent anyone from wobbling off the brink. Attention to every detail to accommodate limited mobility and eyesight can provide pivotal changes toward liberating landscapes and elevated designs. Landscape modification for aging Babyboomers could be the next trending market. Hiring a landscape architect equipped with aesthetic design ideas to transform outdoor spaces in a way that improves and enhances your landscape at the same time would be a smart investment. Upgrading costs are easily offset by your ability to stay at home and live independently.

Post-retirement Landscapes