Nature is a definite force and anywhere there is soil plants
will grow. Unfortunately this includes
our flower and veg beds. You can
significantly reduce the amount of weeds by mulching any bare patches. There are various mulches available from
chipped bark to well-rotted manure.
Mulching also has the added advantage of helping the soil retain
moisture thus reducing the need for watering.
Raised flowerbeds reduce the amount of bending you need to
do and narrow beds the amount of stretching.
Edges can be softened by adding some trailing plants to cascade down the
sides of beds adding another level of structure and colour.
Long handles can be a back saver! As can those which extend
or have telescopic arms as they reduce your need to stretch and likelihood to
over-stretch. Look out for pruners and
loppers that have a ratchet system as this avoids putting pressure on your back
and shoulders. Not just good
housekeeping – but keeping blades sharp avoids extra strain. Invest in a workman’s type belt (lightweight
of course) this way you can have tools ready to hand – trowels, secateurs etc
so you are not constantly bending down.
Don’t overload yourself though and negate the good you are doing! Hoses
are preferable to heavy watering cans, try to make sure they are lightweight
and on easy to use reels.
Although we all have our favourite plants in the garden you
can make your life easier wen purchasing new plant simply by buying
slow-growing shrubs which are easier to maintain than annuals and herbaceous
perennials. It’s also worth considering
containers (be careful about moving heavy ones) anything from a plant pot to a
wheelbarrow can be used to grow things in.
Pots are easier to reach; even vegetables can be grown in them. For the fruit growers out there consider the dwarf
varieties, not only is the fruit easier to reach bit the extra level adds
structure and colour. If you have the expertise creating an espalier against a
wall can create a very sophisticated look while being a very practical way to