Generations Gardening Together
A multi-generational garden has many benefits for all to enjoy. Creating a garden, where all generations work together can help to teach children patience, as they watch and help their elders work in the garden. This is also a wonderful way for adults to spend time and get to know the children in their lives.
Creating a multi-generational garden still has challenges though, especially as the different generations may have different ideas and needs. If there are senior citizens working in the garden it may be beneficial to add raised beds for their benefits, but then children may have difficulties working in these taller beds.
Spend some time planning your layout and design to come up with a garden plan that will fulfill every members needs.
Gardening for Senior Citizens
When designing a garden that will include senior citizens, there are many things that need to be considered. Senior citizens may experience limited mobility, decreased fine motor skills, as well as vision loss. These issues can make working in the garden difficult or even painful. Remember to make pathways wide and slip resistant so they can easily maneuver through the hospital. Consider adding benches or railings as well, as this will help with kneeling and rising, and offer a place for frequent breaks.
Try to include tools with padded handles, or adaptive tools, as these are easier to use and to grip. Raised beds can be a good alternative for gardeners who suffer from poor vision, back pain, or knee problems.
Gardens for Children
When creating a garden were children will be working, make sure to include appropriate sized tools. Try using metal tools, instead of garden toys, for children, as this well make it less frustrating and allow them to feel like they are a part of the garden.
Make sure to establish clear walkways between the garden beds so children know where to walk so they do not step on plants.
Children can benefit from a wagon to carry their tools, as they lack strength for certain tasks. A cart will allow children to carry watering jugs, tolls, and plants to wherever they choose to plant. Provide your little ones with kid sized gloves as well to protect their hands from blistering, thorns, or other injuries.
Gardening for All
There are many ways to create a functional garden that every member of the family can enjoy. There are special adaptations that can be made to your garden, for example, building step stools so children can access the raised beds that are more conducive to the older generations.
Use a pulley system for your hanging plants, so they can be raised or lowered depending on the family member that is going to work on it. Be sure that the pulley system will be strong enough to hold the planter when soaking wet.
You may want to consider a trellis, so plants with vines can grow up, allowing gardeners of all sizes the harvest the vegetables.
Involving the Whole Family
To keep the garden fun and in order, try to schedule short gardening sessions with many breaks. Also state a clear end time, as this will create a sense of accomplishment. It becomes more rewarding to be able to water the whole group on flower in a small patch, or weeding the whole bean patch, that to just work in the garden for an hour.
Make sure to include all members of the garden in the decision making of what to plant, as this keeps everyone excited and involved in the process. Since the garden is a shared responsibility it teaches teamwork and fosters the ideas of cooperation amongst family members. Try giving each member their own bed or area, as it can be very rewarding to have your own space.
Take the time to plan and create a garden that is suitable for all the generations working in your garden. Create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime through your multi-generational garden.