A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Inspiration for Women As We Age.

Ruth Bancroft...100 years old and still gardening.
Staying close to nature can help women to age more slowly. Keeping our minds and bodies more active and in good working condition. I'm all for that...I think that I will try to remember this.Aging can be slowed by positive mental and physical exercise in all situations. Hobbies like gardening and wildlife watching reap healthy and sometimes surprising rewards for older people.Gardening makes an ideal hobby for people of all fitness levels and living situations. Whether landscaping a yard, caring for a small vegetable plot or tending container gardens on the patio, the possibilities are endless.It is the ideal form of exercise because it improves strength, endurance and most of all....flexibility. Gardening helps people use those muscles that we haven't used in a long time. Connecting with nature can reduce stress, improve concentration, relieve depression, lower blood pressure. Don't you remember going out to garden and having all your problems leave your mind except the job at hand? While the positive physical effects of gardening are well known,less known is the fact that the emotional rewards of the nurturing of living things happens when we get a regular dose of nature. I think that many of us have a "feel" for our plants...maybe even talking to them as we give them tender care. Not only does working with plants feed the need to connect with the natural world, but planning a garden is great mental stimulation as well. It allows for creative expression, requires learning about plants and techniques and encourages conversation with friends, family, bloggers and other gardeners about our gardens.

Here is part of an article that I just read .....one that inspires to to go on with my gardening well into my later years.

One recent morning, Ruth Bancroft, who turned 100 on Tuesday, was working at her desk, pouring over plant catalogs and making a list of bearded iris bulbs to order: Above the Clouds, Wine and Roses, Busy Being Blue, Crater Lake Blue. She picked 25 varieties in all.
“I thought I’d get a few,” she said that day in August, “though they won’t bloom for a year.”
She made the rough list in pencil on an envelope, then carefully transcribed it onto a piece of lined notebook paper, also recording the page in the catalog on which she found the bulbs, their prices, their colors and their heights when mature.
Mrs. Bancroft has several gardens on her 11-acre property about 25 miles east of San Francisco, including a large herb garden, a rose garden, an award-winning iris collection and a world-renowned three-acre succulent oasis, the Ruth Bancroft Garden, which is open to the public and protected by the Garden Conservancy.
For each of the gardens, as well as for smaller beds around her 1922 farmhouse, she has maintained meticulous records in spiral notebooks for the 50 years she has lived here. Rows of these colorful garden logs line the desk in her library, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases overflow with gardening and horticulture books, her companions and teachers in her lifelong fascination with plants.
“I just learned about gardening from reading and experimenting and seeing what worked,” she said. “I think Aril irises from the Middle East are very beautiful, but they are fussy about water. They would bloom here for one or two seasons, then die. I had better luck with Aril-bred, the hybrid varieties. I still have some of those from the 1960s.”
In beige pants and a striped beige-and-white shirt, her glasses hanging from her neck, she had a slightly impatient, no-nonsense air about her as she sat on her enclosed patio by the herb garden and lily pond. A cane leaned against her chair. Her short white hair was brushed back from her face; her expression suggested that she didn’t understand all the fuss over her 100th birthday. She lives independently in her house. A housekeeper comes every two weeks to clean, and her daughter, who lives next door, brings her dinner. She makes her own breakfast and lunch.
“I’m not sure how I arrived at 100,” she said, “but now I get tired too easily, and I’m no good at walking.” Still, she has little trouble climbing the stairs to her second-floor bedroom.


Amber Star said...

Your neighbor has an inspiring story. I'm not nearly as old as she, yet I'm stiff as a board. I think this post has shamed me into going to water aerobics even though it is COLD outside and the wind is blowing like crazy...and I have knitting group tonight. Now, was that whiney enough. Golly! I guess I better go on..even if my foot is hurting.

Pat said...

What a wonderful story for all us gals of a certain age. I was lucky enough to have both of my Grandmothers as inspiration. Both were exceptional ladies who didn't stop until the Lord took them home.

Thanks for sharing,

Crayons said...

I love old ladies -- and I'm becoming one as I write. I agree that work out of doors keeps us in touch with our bodies. The story of your neighbor is delightful. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Balisha..that was a great article you read. I found it very interesting. I think all of us wonder how we will fair as we get older. I know I am. I am thinking more and more of what I eat and how I take care of myself. I need to lose weight and eat more veggies and fruits.
Things like that.
The lady you read about is fortunate to still be in her home..if she is. Howards mother fell a couple of times and they put her in a nursing home.
When we were out there (not this summer)that last summer I felt like crying. She just sits in her chair by the window all day long.
While we were visiting she said "Oh..I do wish I could fix you a bite to eat!" She is the dearest woman. Shares her room with someone she does not care for and who just sits and says over and over.."I'm going home, you know!"
It's sad. Howard's mother never gardened...I think about that. Her husband mowed the grass down..there was nothing else.
I...will garden!

Balisha said...

I just read what I wrote today and I can't understand why everyone thought that she was my neighbor. She lives in California...I just read an article about her and found it interesting. Sorry that I gave the impression that she was my neighbor.

Greg said...

Great post on improving your concentration. I used to have concentration problems. Here's a website that I thought I might share with you. This informative website offers more than just simple tips and guides to improve concentration. It's at http://www.attention-deficit-disorder.net

One Woman's Journey said...

Balisha, I loved this story. Just the way I want to age. I remember my grandmother falling out of a tree she was pruning when she was in her 70's like me. I am copying this for my file. You know when I commented a while back about my weight of 110. I am only 5 foot 2.
Take care.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Dear Balisha...
YOU didn't give the impression she was your neighbor. Not at all.

What I think is that often if a post is long at all..we tend to "speed read" and rush off to the next blog.

It is a very bad habit to get into and I am consciously making my mind slow down and give myself to the person and the blog I am viewing. Like I said, I think it comes from skimming quickly.

You worded nothing wrong..


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

example: I didn't catch that she still lives alone..with her daughter next door. How wonderful if we all could live like that in our old age. I thought someone lived with her...because I expected it. So...you see. :)Gardening and homemaking, an interest to such an extent is so good for us! Keeping such a wonderful log of her plantings is what I thought was so great. I want to do that. Already I am wondering exactly what date we planted our redwoods.