Renae Diggles

January 18, 2021

Small Garden Ideas for Retirement Home Courtyards

Renae Diggles

January 18, 2021

There’s no question that exploring your creativity and working in the garden are goals for many people entering into retirement. But retiring often brings about downsizing the family home for many. Fortunately, with some helpful tips, you can create a small garden for your retirement home courtyard.

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The Benefits of Gardening in Retirement

While most people have a patio or courtyard attached to their retirement village apartment, many villages also offer gardening spaces and/ or gardening clubs that you can join. So for many retirees, they get the joy of creating their own courtyard oasis, while also contributing to the landscapes of the retirement village. They can do this while socialising with other residents and sharing common passions for gardening.

Enjoying the outdoors while creating a garden paradise to relax with loved ones gives you a sense of purpose while keeping busy and adding to your surrounds. While gardening can be good exercise, it’s also beneficial for your mind and overall wellbeing too.

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Tips for Small Spaces With no Grass

With some forward-thinking, you can create a low-maintenance courtyard that still looks good even with no grass. If you are able to redecorate your outdoor living space under the rules of the retirement village, why not get fresh tiles laid? Or you could spruce up the outdoor space with timber decking. If you’re more adventurous, you could even add a water feature. All of these options can add an attractive landscape to an otherwise plain outdoor space.

If you’re tiling or decking, be sure to choose a non-slip option for your safety.

Tips to Manage Full Sun

Some retirement homes have strict rules surrounding what you can and can’t do when it comes to modifying your home. If you’re able to add outdoor blinds or awnings, these can be great options. But, if you’re unable to modify your retirement home, consider hanging some leafy pot plants that provide good shade. You could also look at adding a portable umbrella to your space. Many outdoor tables come with a centre hole to place your outdoor umbrella through the table.

Please note that if you are putting an umbrella outside, make sure that you secure the umbrella at all times, and put it down when you’re not sitting outside.

elderly woman with watering can

Selecting the Right Plants

Making a green space on a balcony creates a sense of peace and relaxation while cooling the surrounds. But balconies are either stifling hot with full sun, or too shady to feel like you can grow anything. But rest assured that there are ways to create a green space at your new retirement home. The key is to select the right plants.

Before you go plant shopping, do your research and find out which plants will suit your space. If you have a shaded area, choose plants that thrive in shady areas. If you have full sun, choose sun-loving plants.

Sun Loving Potted Plants

Plants that like the sun often provide little shade, such as agave, cacti and succulents. But the bougainvillea is different. According to experts, the bougainvillea is an attractive plant that requires little watering or fertilising. They grow well in the heat and they flower for most of the year. They come in dwarf varieties as well as full-sized. While they require little nutrients, they still need maintenance as they are climbers that have sharp thorns to latch onto objects.

While shade isn’t everything, you might want to use your outdoor, sunny balcony to grow some herbs and vegetables.  Herbs including rosemary, lavender, and sage grow well in full sun. As do tomatoes, some varieties of small pumpkins and golden zucchini.

Another added touch to your sunny balcony could be a rose garden. They are attractive, tough plants that provide a beautiful and aromatic flower. But remember, that not all roses do well in pots, and roses need maintenance too.

potted herb garden on wall

Potted Plants For Shaded Spaces

For those who have a shaded patio or courtyard at their retirement village, Australian Outdoor Living suggests that you choose from azaleas, dwarf tree ferns, camellias, flaming moses, hydrangeas, weeping fig and hibiscus. Adding greenery and colours to your courtyard can be great, so long as you maintain them well. You can keep your garden looking nice by putting your plants into pots with several drainage holes around the edges. Also, research the best potting mix to suit the plants that you’re potting. And look at getting water-saving plants so that you’re able to enjoy your retirement by going on a holiday an not worrying about your plants for a few days. Always keep your plant tags too so that you can recall which plant is which. Plus, the plant tags have instructions on what your plant needs to stay healthy.

Vertical Gardens

When you have a small outdoor space, doing a vertical garden creates a delightful green space.  You can stack crates at different heights, use containers at different heights along walls using crates, or latticework, or holes in bricks for an attractive look. You can also go to hardware stores and nurseries to purchase mobile wall gardens, hanging pixel pots, or mesh grids for planting vertically. For the most attractive and manageable vertical gardens, I love different varieties of ferns and bromeliads.

vertical garden

Tips for Watering 

When you’re retired, you might want to travel more frequently than you have done in the past. If you have an attractive outdoor green space, the key to managing it while you’re away is a good irrigation system. Alternatively, you can opt for self-watering plants that don’t need a lot of TLC. hoselink water accessories

Decorating Your Space

Once you’ve got your flooring done, and created your outdoor garden paradise, it’s time to furnish your space. The main point to furnishing an outdoor space is to choose furniture that isn’t bulky. You want to create a sense of space, so avoid cluttering the area. A simple little table with 2 chairs might be enough. Or a cosy couch and footrest might suit better. For ambience, you could also add some garden lighting or fairy lights too.

At the end of the day, remember to make your retirement home courtyard the way that you want it to be. Enjoy creating a relaxing and peaceful space where you can sit with friends and family while enjoying your surrounds.

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