Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Gardening at 87

While we were in New Zealand I got to spend some time with my maternal grandparents.  The still live in the own home at 85 (my Nan) and 87 (my Pop) and are both still very active especially my Nan who plays golf, bowls, goes swimming and boogie boarding in summer, rides her bike and even still skis in winter and even has a ski pass booked for next year when she will be 86.

My Pop has always been a gardener and for as long as I can remember he has been growing amazing potatoes, awesome pumpkin crops, and huge cauliflower, cabbages and lettuces and so many other veggies.  When they moved from their 8 acres to their city section we all wondered which of all the small bits of lawn would be sacrificed for his veggie patch.  You see the section is flat where the house is but the back drops away steeply which you can see in the photo below.

This is the view from the back of the house and the tree tops that you see just below the low hedge
are growing about 10m below in the gully

Well Pop just started terracing the steep bank building small garden beds separated but wind screens to slow the win that races up from the gully below.  He put in a set of steps and created a large terrace at the bottom.

Even the smallest spaces are used

Then below the large terrace he created, there are a couple of fruit trees and a grape vine planted.

The large terrace currently planted with leeks potatoes, corn silverbeet and lettuce.
There are 2 compost bins and a near vertical retaining wall to the right of the photo.
The fruit trees are planted below and you can just see the tops of them and there is a
grape vine on the other side of the wind cloth.
Their section is surrounded by native bush that grows on the sides of the gully and right up to the edge of the garden and vertical frames allow growing space to be expanded.

If you look at the bottom left of the above picture you can see that even the pathways
have more terraces added to them.

There is also another small garden squeezed in beside the garage where there is a lemon tree and a mandarin tree and a few more veggies.  The garden produces most of the vegetables that they eat and are given away to the family as well, and they are always amazing quality.

I feel blessed to have grown up in a family where providing for yourselves was just part of every day life and I hope to be gardening into my eighties as well.

Who are the gardeners in your family?


  1. That is an amazing garden Fiona. Congrats to your grandparents for being so active! I hope I am still gardening strong well into my late 80's

    Gav x

    1. Gav I am sure they think nothing of it as it is just what people of their generation did. But like you I hope I am still up to it in my 80's.

  2. Golly that is amazing. I would think a lot of people in their eighties would not even want to walk up and down those stairs... Those veggies must contain something special :)

    1. AA you are right but I think it comes down to the use it or loose it factor.

  3. As they say "Gardening is good for the Soul" and keeps you fit and active and healthy. It's a great credit to them to be so active at that age...I get tired sometimes and I'm no where near 87!!! Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. Kathy I think we all get tired but I wonder how much of it is actually physical exhaustion. I think I am sometimes just mentally tired and a bit more physical activity would help.


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