I suspect many of us began our love of gardening watching our grandparents or parents work in the garden. One of my earliest memories, of my grandmother, was of her cutting roses from her front garden in West Berkeley in the late 1940’s. One of my earliest culinary memories is of her apricot jam, made from the apricots growing on the fruit tree right outside her back door.
Now, when I pass my grandparent’s former home the apricot tree is gone, and the roses have made way for low water use CA native and Mediterranean plants, but there is still a homeowner/gardener out front, pruning and attending to the plants.
This month’s presentation, November 14 at 2pm at the Albany Community Center, is by Toni Gattone, who specializes in adaptive strategies and tools enabling us to garden for life. I think of my grandmother, stooped over with osteoporosis, and wonder how much more comfortable and enjoyable gardening would have been for her, in her 70’s, if she had had Toni’s advice and tools?
And I am thankful, having reached senior status also, that I can benefit from Toni’s information. The weeds are a never-ending challenge, the shrubs always need some pruning—no matter how carefully I space them, and there is always the impulse to add more flowering plants! And when there’s not room in the soil, I reach for a container to plant more of the amazing succulents that tantalize me in the nursery. Furthermore, there is no way I will go through a spring/summer without growing Sungold tomatoes, which I am still harvesting right now in late October.
In looking at Toni’s website, http://tonigattone.com, to get a preview of her presentation content, I was excited to see how encouraging she was about gardening for life by modifying our gardens and suggesting tools that adapt to our changing needs as we age. Her advice will be helpful to all avid gardeners, but most especially for those of us who have loved gardening for many decades.