All the hydrangeas and none of the hassle

Cathy Johnston, the community living advisor at Auchlochan Garden Village, reveals how to enjoy garden space without the hassle.

Mature couple gardening

Whilst having your own garden to tend is something which lots of people enjoy, keeping outdoor spaces looking neat takes a lot of time – and which can sometimes begin to feel like a chore as people get older. That’s one of the reasons why many retirees choose to swap pushing the lawnmower and pulling weeds for relaxing in a smaller, more manageable property.

But losing the workload doesn’t necessarily mean losing the chance to be amongst the flora and fauna – there are tons of ways to feel close to nature without having to cultivate it yourself!

Shared gardens

If you’re currently thinking about downsizing, but you know that outdoor space is important to you, it might be worth looking at properties which come with communal gardens. These are often tended by a professional gardener so offer beautiful surroundings without the hassle of tending it yourself.

Bringing nature to your door

For those who aren’t quite ready to completely de-green their fingers, smaller-scale projects could be the way to make their hobby more manageable. Succulents and cactuses can grow well indoors and don’t require much time on the part of the gardener. Rubber plants, flamingo flowers and spider plants are also good options when looking to bring the outdoors in.

And don’t forget that just because you haven’t got a garden, it doesn’t mean you haven’t got any outdoor space. Balconies or porches can be great places to keep plants which require more direct sunlight. Growing things there makes your home look lovely to passers-by, and you can prune a hanging basket much quicker than you can mow a whole lawn.


Public parks

If fields and woodlands rather than window boxes are what you’re after, public parks might be the way to go. Much bigger than most gardens, you can easily spend a whole day getting lost amongst the trees or following winding paths around the landscape.

If it’s get-togethers in the garden you’re worried about missing, parks can be a great place to meet family and friends for a picnic or even a barbecue – although if you’re going for the latter, be sure to check if your chosen park allows it before you stock up on sausages.

Outdoor hobbies

The extra free time that retirement brings means that it’s not just picnics and strolls you’ll have time for – if you’re so inclined, you could take up a new hobby or dedicate more time to one which you’ve always loved.

Fishing, walking, bowls or even sailing are all great ways to get out in the fresh air, stay active and maybe even meet some new friends. The thought of catching that next trout or the possibility of beating an opponent can also be great motivation to get outdoors – there’s nothing like the thrill of competition to boost energy levels!

Downsizing doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to garden pursuits – property hunting with an open mind can throw up options you’d never even considered. If you’re relocating to a different area, spending a week or two in a B&B or holiday cottage nearby will give you a true feel for how much nature time you’re likely to get in your new home.

With a little bit of creative thinking, you can make the most of the British summer, no matter the size of your own personal plot. And who knows – you might find that you end up closer to nature than ever before.

For more information about Auchlochan Garden Village and retirement living in general, please visit

Last modified: June 10, 2021

Written by 2:03 pm Gardening