Top four benefits of gardening
People who have recently left work often consider taking up a new hobby or pastime.
This can often be something they've always planned on getting into, but it can just as easily be something they've never considered before.
It is such a liberating feeling to pick up a new skill and devote a lot of time to learning about a whole different part of life - and there are reasons why gardening is such a popular activity among the over-50s.
Grow your own
One of the most attractive things associated with the pastime is the produce - planting vegetables and herbs can be a big step towards self-sufficiency.
Not only will you be saving money on expensive vegetables in the supermarkets, but you could also take the opportunity to try and grow unusual or exotic vegetables that you haven't been able to sample in the past.
This is particularly the case for those who take the plunge and invest in a greenhouse, as it opens up a whole new host of planting options.
For those who have downsized or who do not have all that much garden space, you could always lend a hand at community vegetable gardens or rent an allotment.
It is not necessarily the case that gardening is just for the fit and active, as there are plenty of gardening activities that can be carried out regardless of your individual fitness levels.
Those who have difficulties bending down and getting up could consider planting raised beds - and there are plenty of gardening tools to make most activities generally less strenuous.
Best of all is that gardening itself provides exercise and is a great way to keep fit and active, which is especially important for those who have left a physical work role.
It is very pleasurable to look out of the window and gaze on a well-kept garden in full bloom.
This can bring some cheer on the dullest of days - and watching plants bloom and grow throughout the seasons is fascinating.
It also offers a considerable sense of accomplishment knowing that you have built this environment on your own.
Can I afford it?
Almost definitely! You can spend as much or as little on your garden as you feel like, depending on how much you want to commit to it and what you are able to afford.
There is no need to worry if you are living off a fixed income, as all you really need is some seeds and bulbs, as well as a few basic tools like a trowel.
Cultivating plants from bulbs or seeds takes longer, but can be a lot more satisfying than the quick results offered by the plug and pot plant options.
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