Since we’ve been helping our parents with various tasks, we are keenly aware that some products might as well have the words AGING (or aged) etched into them. Since I avidly read posts from the MIT Age Lab, AgeTek, Laurie Orlov’s Aging in Place Technology Watch, and Eric Dishman, I know that new products aimed exclusively at “old people” are frequently disliked and barely used by seniors.
These days any products aimed at assisting people in some way must also appeal to everyone else. They must be attractive and look good. Now, for the first time, something in my life, never mind my parents lives, has appeared that fits the bill with beautiful design and easy use. It may just help me out.
I’m a gardener. I love flowers and herbs — in fact I never have enough of them — so I do major amounts yard work. In the past it’s been easy to make a new planting bed in my yard — lots of sweat, bending, carrying, etc. However, the last time my husband and I worked on a big garden project, we were aware that we may not be able to do as much of the heavy-duty work.
So on a recent cold winter day, when I was thinking and worrying a bit about spring gardens and a new flower bed, the Gardener’s Supply Company catalog arrived, featuring Periwinkle Grow Beds and liners on its front cover. The lightweight plastic or resin boxes that easily snap together, so the only remaining task is to dig a bit deeper (not required) and add a liner (a feature to slow the weeds — also available at this catalog). The only heavy lifting is to add soil.
This is exactly the type of product that appeals to lots of people, but especially to seasoned gardeners who are aging. We like it, gardeners who are older than us will like it, and so will younger gardeners — a perfect product that helps lots of people continue doing what they love to do.
I’ll be ordering a set of these grow beds soon. I’ll take some pictures of our install and set-up and post them here with a short description of our work. By the way, it’s also available in brown.
I’ve made raised beds out of concrete block before and from cedar decking boards. Those might be a more cost-effective option for some people. There are designs out there to make raised beds accessible by anyone in a wheelchair, too.
Good suggestions. In the past I have always used concrete blocks and/or cedar boards. However, both are heavier than this new material, and with the cedar we usually need to use power tools to make them the right sizes and that makes things more complicated. So I am in the market for gardening materials that are lighter weight as well as quick and easy to use. I am looking for things that enable me to garden for several hours or more and then still have energy for other activities in the day — balancing time/money/energy/convenience.
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