Gardening may bring to mind images of warm, fertile dirt in your hands, blossoming blooms or an expansive garden in bloom. Additionally, gardening provides immense satisfaction from its accomplishments while also being beneficial as physical exercise that relieves stress levels and increases relaxation levels.
Gardens and gardening remain essential parts of life for many aging adults, yet despite increased focus on “gray and green” (an interdisciplinary field that examines environmental, aging, and well-being issues), few studies have examined why so many golden-agers engage in gardening activities.
Gardening may become increasingly more physically taxing as we get older, yet this doesn’t deter gardeners from continuing the hobby they love so much. Toni Gattone provides insight into adaptive gardening in her book Lifelong Gardener by including numerous tried-and-tested strategies to make gardening less taxing on our bodies, such as investing in ergonomic tools or using raised beds to relieve back and knee strain.
One great option for relieving feelings of loneliness and isolation is joining a community garden. These gardens foster an atmosphere that promotes camaraderie and sharing gardening techniques among its participants; Quandt et al. found that elderly gardeners in communal allotments experienced greater sense of legacy and spirituality compared to non-gardeners.