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Gardening for a Lifetime: How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older Paperback – April 13, 2011


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Gardening for a Lifetime: How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older + The New Low-Maintenance Garden: How to Have a Beautiful, Productive Garden and the Time to Enjoy It
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (April 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604692669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604692662
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A respected, beloved writer and speaker in the gardening world, Eddison shares her personal transition from dynamic garden maker to an aging garden caretaker. Revealing strategies she developed to reduce the workload inherent in maintaining perennial borders, Eddison presents a bullet-point list of “gleanings” to accompany each chapter. Determining which perennials merit a place while removing others is one option she explores. Gardeners who are no longer young will appreciate her recommendations for choosing shrubs that require less care, or plants that thrive in shade rather than sun. Making task lists might sound elemental, but Eddison explains the importance and effectiveness of such lists. And she suggests ways to search for help when one needs to spend less time maintaining one’s garden, a decision that can be difficult for type A gardeners as they grow older. Eddison’s thoughtful reflections are timely for countless gardeners who are approaching the time in their lives when a garden sanctuary can feel like a burden. --Alice Joyce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Sydney Eddison has long shared with readers…her experiences maintaining her garden in Connecticut. Now she’s using those experiences to help older gardeners like herself continue to pursue their passion as they age."
(Akron Beacon Journal)

“Eddison’s thoughtful reflections are timely for countless gardeners who are approaching the time in their lives when a garden sanctuary can feel like a burden.”
(Booklist)

"Sydney Eddison is my kind of garden writer, now passing along wisdom acquired from 50 years. No BS, no rhetoric. Trust this writer; she knows what she’s talking about.”

(Garden Rant)

“While this book is meant for gardeners who are getting older, it’s relevant reading for anyone who may not have endless supplies of time, energy and money to devote to their garden.”
(Connecticut Gardener)

“Anyone who's gardened for a long time will want to read Sydney Eddison's new book”
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

"I found it liberating to be given an excuse to ditch some of my backbreaking chores. Who’s waiting to grow old? I’m preparing for the future right now. You can tuck this perfect gift into your basket."

(New York Times Book Review)

“Her advice is both practical and creative.” 
(Winston-Salem Journal)

All of us need to begin addressing these issues, and this [book] is a gentle way to get started.
(MuckAbout.com)

A delightful read with many helpful hints about simplifying garden maintenance.
(The Providence Journal)

A very personal book with many nuggets of information.
(All The Dirt On Gardening.com)

A lovely read for those of us who can no longer put 16 hours a day into the garden.
(California Country Magazine)

While many of the practices included in the book speak to the older gardener, those with mobility issues, no matter their age, will find Eddison’s ideas both gentle and practical.
(NY Times Book Review)

I found it liberating to be given an excuse to ditch some of my backbreaking chores. Who’s waiting to grow old? I’m preparing for the future right now. You can tuck this perfect gift into your basket...
(TheDailyBasics.com)

Practical, imaginative and delightful...
(Hartford Courant)

Her book is packed with insights that readers will find helpful, whether they're nearing a certain age or simply trying to plan their gardens well.
(On Point, NPR)

Gardens change, and so do we—our time, our needs, our energy. Sydney tells us how to roll with the changes…how to garden for life without getting lost in the weeds.
(NotesFromASmallGarden.com)

An excellent and thoughtful new book...a must read both for now (after all, who doesn’t want to garden smarter?) and for your future gardening self. She is practical, humorous and clear-sighted.
(Booklist)

Eddison’s thoughtful reflections are timely for countless gardeners who are approaching the time in their lives when a garden sanctuary can feel like a burden.
(Garden Rant)

Sydney Eddison is my kind of garden writer, now passing along wisdom acquired from 50 years. No BS, no rhetoric. Trust this writer; she knows what she’s talking about.
(Akron Beacon Journal)

Sydney Eddison has long shared with readers…her experiences maintaining her garden in Connecticut. Now she’s using those experiences to help older gardeners like herself continue to pursue their passion as they age.
(Connecticut Gardener Magazine)

While this book is meant for gardeners who are getting older, it’s relevant reading for anyone who may not have endless supplies of time, energy and money to devote to their garden.
(LandscapeDesignWeb.com)

[Eddison] writes with wisdom and experience. Are you looking for anything more?
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

Anyone who's gardened for a long time will want to read Sydney Eddison's new book.
(DesignNJ)

“Practical advice and heartfelt anecdotes on how to transform gardening into a labor of love.”

More About the Author

For her work as a writer, gardener, and lecturer, Sydney Eddison received the Connecticut Horticultural Society's Gustav A. L. Melquist Award in 2002; the New England Wild Flower Society's Kathryn S. Taylor Award in 2005; The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut's Bronze Medal in 2006; and in 2010, the National Garden Clubs Award of Excellence. Her garden has been featured in magazines and on television. A former scene designer and drama teacher, Eddison lectures widely and continues to teach a course on color at the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Customer Reviews

This book was the right read at the right time.
Linda J. Marker
She also teaches us that if we have one genus or species monopolizing our time and dominating our garden, we need to think about reducing its number.
Bold Consumer
I highly recommend this book for gardeners and non-gardeners; her books are wonderful reads and make excellent gifts.
William P. LaBella

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Bold Consumer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such an honest little handbook for the overwhelmed gardener. We don't always have the time, good health, or energy for gardening responsibilities, but we keep bringing in more of everything and with each comes more tasks. I've been wondering for quite some time if I've bitten off more than I can chew in my current garden. The author has gone through the same process and helps us make our gardens appropriate for our current (and future) needs.

When do we have enough trees, shrubs, and plants? How do we know if we have too much and what do we do about it? This book addresses in general and very specific ways to control what goes in, or stays in, our gardens, so we can continue to enjoy them without being overwhelmed.

After reading this book, a weight lifted off my shoulders, because she recommends that for certain tasks we get help, as much help as we can afford. Whew! I had felt so guilty not to be able to do it all. After all, it's my garden! The best part of it is, she talks about her various helpers over the years and their different approaches and what she has learned from each of them. I love this quote about one of her helpers, "she knew how to hit the high spots and keep us up to speed." The author is a garden perfectionist, which isn't always the best strategy for gardening.

One very simple example is how she has learned to use lists, a practical idea for me. "When you feel overwhelmed by all the things that cry out to be done in the garden, making a list can be useful.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By allanbecker-gardenguru on May 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It creeps up slowly to surprise when it is least expected. It is a gardener's worst nightmare. No, it is not an invasive weed. It is old age. I am not certain when it happened to me but one day, while gardening, it became clear that I could no longer sustain this enjoyable activity for 6 hours without stopping! I wasn't twenty seven anymore. Gardening was slowly turning into an un-enjoyable chore. The energy level had dropped, the joints ached, and being winded was becoming the norm. Now I garden for fewer hours and that restriction is frustrating because there is so much that is left undone. Some of my peers have stopped altogether; they have sold their homes and moved into condominiums. For those of us that would like to maintain our gardens as long as possible, the author of this publication has some wise advice.

Sydney Eddison came to the realization that her garden had become too great a responsibility with the death of her husband. Together with a wise coach, she created a list of steps that might lighten the burden of gardening into old age. Some of the suggestions include replacing needy plants with those that are lower maintenance, making and keeping lists of chores and then prioritizing them, learning to live with imperfect results, adapting a realistic attitude towards lawn care, and learning techniques that save time and energy

The author offers many pearls of wisdom on the subject of lightening the load; I have dog-eared about 16 pages of helpful advice that I plan to incorporate into my gardening routine. These suggestions will allow me to continue to garden while maintaining my pride, my skills and above all my dignity. Some of us no longer have careers that define us. Gardening as recreation replaced that years ago and it became the new source of accomplishment.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J. Jernberg on April 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this delightful book in one sitting. Ms. Ellison worries about how both her forty-year old garden and herself will survive old age. She doesn't want to give it up entirely, so she looks for friends, experts, and resources to decide the best ways to keep the garden and do less work. It is perfect approach for gardeners like me, approaching 70, to find a way to keep gardening "forever."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Linda J. Marker on September 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a perfect fit for a retiree who loves to garden, but needs ideas to help simplify maintence and upkeep. Fifteen years ago the lot we purchased was bare, now we have forty plus trees, numerous shrubs, perennials in both shade and sun gardens, and a 20 X 20 vegetable garden. Having been retired five years, and having gone through a knee replacement I knew it was time to simplify, but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of anything. This author gives lots of examples on how to eliminate plants that are high maintence, suggestions for shrubs and trees that need little to no pruning, and ways to ease achy joints by making garden chores less time consuming. I saw her book suggested in the newspaper, and knew it was the perfect book for me at the time. I was concerned as to whether or not I could continue gardening. This summer we have applied many of Sydney Eddison's ideas and have redesigned beds, decreased overgrown shrubs, and eliminated troublesome perennials. This book was the right read at the right time. All retirees who love to garden should own this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Diane S. Rice on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though I haven't yet finished the book (too busy gardening!), I am enjoying it. What I find missing is a diagram of her garden! There are numerous sketches of plants, but none of the garden areas that she constantly refers to. It would have made it much easier to understand what she has done, if the illustrator had added perhaps before and after sketches of the basic garden layout.
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