Why?????

pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)August 6, 2012

Remind me again WHY I do this. I�m sixty four years old for goodness sakes. Why can�t I be satisfied with crossword puzzles, scrabble, reading, knitting or anything else that doesn�t require bending, stretching, slipping in mud, lifting, pulling, pushing, getting dirty and sore and smelling like horse manure?

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well....lol. That's a good question. :-)

I imagine you enjoy it most of the time, but that as you get older, some of it is more work than you feel comfortable to do. It is actually excellent exercise and should really keep you young, if you are careful to know your limits. Maybe you don't want to be out there slipping in mud, for safety sake, but the lifting and pulling and pushing within reason is good for you.

Maybe you need some help at this point? Hiring someone to take some of the hardest jobs off your list, might make a big difference. Or finding a family member, friend's child, or neighbor, who might have an interest in gardening and teach them what you know, while they help in your garden might work out for you. Although I've tried repeatedly to do that and so far it has not worked out for me.

And to answer your question about why you do it instead of crossword puzzles, my theory is that gardeners are born that way and not everyone is.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:57AM
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pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

LOL prairiemoon; This is a rhetorical question. And, you are so right we are born to garden. There is really no other explanation. I can�t afford to hire a helper which makes me frustrated at times but I was the one who chose to give up my career and be a stay at home gardener. . .
I do it because:
It proves to me that at 64 I can still get her done.
I�m stubborn and I�m going to find a way to do it if it kills me.
It exercises my body, mind and soul.
Most of all at the end of the day I have accomplished a task bigger than most people young or old would not even attempt.
That said fellow gardeners. Why do YOU do it despite the aches and pains and everything else that goes with it?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:15PM
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ogrose_tx

"It exercises my body, mind and soul." I love that, pat tea, and it certainly explains why I get out there every day! I'm 71, and sure know about the sore muscles and bones getting old, lol! Fortunately I've been able to get some help with the really heavy work, just can't manage a lot of it anymore, and sure don't move as fast as I once did or take the heat like once upon a time. I get the lawn mowed now, which is a huge help.

Hang in there, we do this for a reason!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:01PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

To put it simply, it's in my blood :).

Annette

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:12PM
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pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

ogrose, gardening is certainly not for the faint at heart is it? And just think we do this because we want to.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:18PM
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bev1065(7)

It is my therapy, my respite from teaching school; flowers don't talk back. And,it is in my blood.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 6:23PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Ha ha ha ha! Pat Tea, you made me laugh. I am almost 50 and I started running. Out of the blue, I just ran one day and I actually RAN. Where did it come from? Guess I'm in good shape from all that toting manure, lifing heavy fallen pieces of tree, digging soil endlessly, toting mulch, removing debris.... :)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:02PM
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finchelover(5b-6)

I am going on 82 I atill pull weeds,plant i can do more outside than I can then the in. I just have to make sure now my flower beds are on the level My girls help but my problem is all girls live miles away and boys farm they do the little things when i can catch them. One put up a new bluebird box for me and other will take my bags of mulch and place to where I want,every little bit counts.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:16PM
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ogrose_tx

Finchelover, that is so positive! Age may keep us from some of the heavy stuff, but getting out in the yard is such a treat at any age. I plan to garden until I just can't get out there anymore, hopefully not for a long time. :)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:57PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

I am so thrilled to know that a few are older than I. lol! I will be 69 in Oct. I keep wondering if I can continue this for much longer.
I know if my best friend did not live here and help out, neither of us could do it by ourself. The worst is the watering this time of the year.

Kathy (and Diane)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:34PM
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mary_lu_gw

Same here. Partly I need/want to maintain what we created over the past 11 years. (started when I was younger and foolish?) But then this year I planted 7 new roses. So why did I do that? Guess it is because a garden is never done in the eyes of it's creator/designer? Always needs just a little tweaking...

I just know that it does seem to get a little harder each year and that I cannot withstand the heat like I used to. Oh well, retirement is not that far off and then I can putter in the gardens in the cool morning hours instead of the hot evenings after work.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:38PM
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ogrose_tx

mary lu, that's exactly what I do since retiring about a year ago, get up at 5:30, as soon as it gets light get out there and do whatever I can until about 9:30, when it is most likely 90 and heading up this time of year... we do what we have to in order to do what we love!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:52PM
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flowergirl70ks

Last year it was 54 days of over 100. so far this year 31 days. With hardly any rain. But still the weeds grow. I will be 79 in Oct. and promised myself I would hire a mower this year. Haven't done it yet. I promised I would NOT order anything new to plant this fall-but I did. Why is a good question???

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:03AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

I am so fortunate. Sometimes I forget to count my blessings. My finances a very limited, but I do not have to work for a living. I can still enjoy my gardening.
Yesterday, I could tell that the young man that bagged my groceries seemed to have a problem turning his head. He slipped on ice March 2011 and broke 2 vertebrae in his neck. At that time they discovered a vascular mass growing in his neck. He told me they are just watching it for now. Bless his heart. He is probably 25 to 30 and has to bag and take out groceries.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:40AM
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blaketaylore

Hello Pat tea

I chuckled as I read your rhetorical question. I have to admit that I have sometimes asked the same question as I massage my sore back... or, look in the mirror and see how much dirt I can sometimes get on my face!
I garden for so many reasons. I love being close to nature; it makes me so much more aware of what is going on in the world around me, and what is important. I love the exercise, the quiet time, and the beauty.I also grow and can food to give my family quality food.

Gardening is great on so many levels. I hope the work I do now will help keep me mentally, spiritually and physically strong, so when I am ninety-seven, I will still be fine- tuning my garden and getting dirt on my face!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:03AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I have a lovely next-door neighbor who is 97 years old and still gets out every day to water her beds, deadhead her containers, sweep the leaves and pine needles off her walkway, etc.

Martha

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:49AM
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silvergirl426_gw

Because we have to! I would be a raving lunatic if I didn't get to dig! And I too am happy to see so many of you who are older than I am. At work I am used to being the oldest, but with walking (alas, no more running), digging and carrying, I am probably among the fittest. I do find haaving reached my 60's, I can't dig like I used to. But where would we all be without our gardens? Making something beautiful and getting exercise at the same time -- what's not to like?
lucia

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:01PM
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silvergirl426_gw

Because we have to! I would be a raving lunatic if I didn't get to dig! And I too am happy to see so many of you who are older than I am. At work I am used to being the oldest, but with walking (alas, no more running), digging and carrying, I am probably among the fittest. I do find haaving reached my 60's, I can't dig like I used to. But where would we all be without our gardens? Making something beautiful and getting exercise at the same time -- what's not to like?
lucia

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:02PM
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pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

Lucia; that was worth repeating LOL!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:35PM
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louisianagal(z7bMS)

I am not so old (55) but I definitely notice a decline in strength and stamina from when I was in my 20s and 30s gardening and doing other activities. I walk and take martial arts, so I am fairly fit. There are a few things you can do to make gardening easier, especially if you can budget for a few "luxuries." For example, I now have a self propelled electric start mower, starts with the push of a button. It was about $350 and is a big help! Also 2 sets of important tools like trug, pruners and trowel, for when I see something in the front yard and don't have to walk all the way around to the back to get my tools. (or is that just plain laziness?) I've used more flowering shrubs to replace some perennials and annuals, because I love to prune and shape but don't like to divide. And hiring a strong youngster to do heavy duty work when needed (I only did this once or twice for edging / trenching all my garden beds). My mom is 82 has Parkinsons disease, she is my role model. She has had to slow down quite a bit but she still gardens on 1 acre.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:35AM
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louisianagal(z7bMS)

I am not so old (55) but I definitely notice a decline in strength and stamina from when I was in my 20s and 30s gardening and doing other activities. I walk and take martial arts, so I am fairly fit. There are a few things you can do to make gardening easier, especially if you can budget for a few "luxuries." For example, I now have a self propelled electric start mower, starts with the push of a button. It was about $350 and is a big help! Also 2 sets of important tools like trug, pruners and trowel, for when I see something in the front yard and don't have to walk all the way around to the back to get my tools. (or is that just plain laziness?) I've used more flowering shrubs to replace some perennials and annuals, because I love to prune and shape but don't like to divide. And hiring a strong youngster to do heavy duty work when needed (I only did this once or twice for edging / trenching all my garden beds). My mom is 82 has Parkinsons disease, she is my role model. She has had to slow down quite a bit but she still gardens on 1 acre.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:37AM
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grandmachris

This 80 year old Hoosier is on the 13th day of a 21 day trip visiting two daughters in the PNW. My husband and I have been very well cared for! It's hard to be away from my garden but last week I had the opportunity of setting out one daughter's fall lettuce transplants in a container garden in Seattle. This morning I got up early since 90 degrees is forcast for this afternoon in Salem. I had the pleasure of deadheading and cutting back the sedum Autumn Joy, Painter's palatte, goose-neck, Lady's mantle and other things which have grown on steroids here in Salem from starts years ago in my Indiana garden. It's such a pleasure sharing the love of gardening with your offspring. We're off to a local nursery to look at fall fill-ins.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:27PM
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ogrose_tx

Grandmachris, I envy you being in Salem! My mom retired and lived there before she died at 93, it was such a treat to leave the Dallas heat and see the beauty the PNW offers! Have you been to McGraw's Seafood Restaurant? I love that place, drove her nuts wanting to eat there every day...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:06PM
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