Friday, May 17, 2019

The Lifelong Gardener: Garden with Ease and Joy at Any Age

The Lifelong Gardener: Garden with Ease and Joy at Any Age is a new tutorial and resource gardening guide by adaptive gardening lifestyle expert Toni Gattone. Due out 20th Aug 2019 from Timber Press, it's 216 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

The term adaptive gardening has been on an upward trend lately. There is undisputed proof of the therapeutic benefits of physical exercise and motion as well as the benefits of gardening both mental and physical. For people who experience limited mobility from aging, chronic illness, injury, etc, gardening can be daunting or impossible.  This manual explores methods of compensating for those issues by gardening smarter, using adaptive devices, ergonomic tools, raised beds, and other methods of doing the work we wish to do within the constraints we have.

The author's introduction gives a good overview of how she came to write the book and how she herself got interested in and motivated to adapt her gardening to her chronic back problems.  Her writing style is encouraging, humorous, and very positive and quite a lot of fun to read.

The book is split into 3 main sections. The first third covers the realities of our limited physical bodies. There are a number of tips for compensating, working better and smarter, not harder, stewarding our strength and using it well, resting after exertion, accepting help, and more. These general tips are followed by several profiles of gardeners putting the concepts to use in their own adaptive gardens. There's a lot of sensible and encouraging philosophy here. It's not just empty 'Pollyanna' you can do it, either. There are concrete and sensible ideas for implementation included such as placing resting areas and balance handholds throughout the garden for resting and stability.

The second section of the book is a working plan to get from the possibly unsafe or unmanageable garden the reader has to the safe, sustainable, satisfying the reader needs. There's a wealth of information and practical suggestions for making a realistic plan through to executing it.

The third section provides techniques and tools lists for implementing the plan to make a sustainable, accessible, useful, and pleasing garden for the reader.  There are a lot of sidebars and tips throughout the book which are really useful and smart for all gardeners, not just ones with mobility issues.

The book also includes sections for reader supplied ideas, notes, plans, and other specific info.  There's a solid links and resources section (slanted toward the reader in North America, but useful for gardeners in other areas as well). The index is cross referenced.

The photography is lush and abundant. The photos are clear and illustrative. I loved that there is nothing whiny or apologetic about this book in the slightest. It's very much a 'roll up your sleeves and get gardening' book. 

Wonderful and uplifting.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an eARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment