- Author: Tina Saravia
I recently did a presentation for theCordelia Branch Library inFairfield. They put on display several books, and one of them was “The Lifelong Gardener” by ToniGattone, aUCCE Master Gardener of Marin County. I found this very interesting and timely for me, so I borrowed it.
Lately, I've been looking around the garden and thinking about what adjustments I can implement to make the garden safer as I get older. I've only mildly twisted my right ankle about once a year. But I did slip and slide recently in the garden, with no major bruising, except for my ego and a little muscle soreness for a couple of days. This book mentions various adaptive changes that are very practical for gardeners of all ages. After all, gardeners like to keep gardening until we are not able to, so why not extend that time for as long as we can?
One big change that I had not considered, is the surface I walk on. The book mentions different surfaces that work and don't work. The important takeaway from it is to have a consistent surface throughout. My garden has bricks, old carpeting,pavers, wood chips and whatnot in different places. I need to decide on one unifying safest surface so I can avoid future damage to my body.
The book also talks about different ergonomic hand tools that the author likes and what works for her. I'm happy to report that a lot of my tools are mentioned in the book.
Planting in raised beds and gardening in containers are also mentioned in the book. I have a self-built, waist-high vegetable bed that I positioned by the kitchen door for my leafy greens and annual herbs. The perennial herb bed is a half circle enclosed in concrete bricks that I can easily get to, and the more frost-sensitive herbs, like lemongrass, are planted in containers.
There is much more practical advice in this book that I don't remember off-hand and have the space to mention. I will be returning the book shortly and it should be available to borrow from any Solano County Library.