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A Guide to Apartment Gardening for Retirees

A Guide to Apartment Gardening for Retirees 1

Gardening is often a source of joy and fulfilment as we retire, providing not just beautiful surroundings but a sense of connection to nature and therapeutic benefits that improve mental well-being.

Although retirement apartments don’t often come with their own garden plot, at Burghley Retirement Living, many of our properties have balconies – an outdoor space to be filled with blooms and a fabulous challenge for gardening enthusiasts. Along with that at most of our developments, you will have access to beautifully curated communal gardens which are kept by our maintenance and grounds staff – all the joy with none of the workload.

If you prefer to cultivate your own greenspace, however, with a little creativity and ingenuity, it’s entirely possible to curate a thriving garden oasis in the comfort of your own home. In this guide, we’ll explore retirement apartment gardening, offering tips, tricks, and inspiration to encourage your green fingers and transform your living space into a botanical paradise. Here is our guide to apartment gardening for retirees.


Firstly, before diving straight into your gardening endeavours, take some time to assess the available space in your apartment. Consider factors such as natural light, available surfaces for containers, and any potential obstacles like pets or limited mobility. All plants need sunlight. Choose areas that receive ample sunlight for your plants to thrive, whether it’s a sunny windowsill, balcony, or a designated corner with a grow light.

A Guide to Apartment Gardening for Retirees gardening herbs


When gardening in a retirement apartment, your choice of pots and containers can also be used to update your aesthetic. Opt for a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials to suit your style and the amount of space you have. In a retirement apartment, it may help to look for space-saving options like hanging baskets, vertical planters, or tiered shelving units to maximise vertical space. Additionally, consider repurposing everyday items like mason jars, tin cans, or wooden crates if you like a rustic touch.


Indoor plants require proper care and attention to thrive. Be mindful of watering and remember you can overwater plants as well as not giving them enough. Monitor soil moisture levels regularly and adjust your schedule accordingly. You can also fertilise your plants periodically to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for pests and diseases, addressing any issues promptly to prevent them from spreading.

If you’re plants are looking lacklustre or worse for wear, here is a useful article that outlines many of the common problems with indoor plants, along with how to address them: https://www.ukhouseplants.com/helpful-tips/identifying-common-houseplant-pests-diseases  


When space is limited, it’s essential to select plants that are well-suited to indoor environments and can thrive in containers. Opt for compact varieties of herbs, vegetables and flowers that don’t require a lot of room to spread. Herbs like basil and rosemary are excellent choices for apartment gardening, as they can be grown in small pots and provide fragrant freshness for your kitchen too.

Additionally, consider flowering plants like African violets, orchids, or succulents that will add a pop of colour to your living space.

A Guide to Apartment Gardening for Retirees gardening succulent


In our guide to apartment gardening for retirees, we have collated varieties of plants that will give you the best chance of success in indoor gardening.

  • Succulents – low-maintenance plants that can thrive without frequent watering. Succulents are an excellent choice for adding a tropical vibe to your space without the need for over-nurturing.
  • Cacti – These spiky houseplants are akin to succulents and can also survive with minimal interaction and little water, but they need plenty of sunlight and warmth.
  • Tropical – choose tropical plants that don’t mind shady spaces. Monsteras, snake plants and anthuriums will still thrive, even if you haven’t got a sunny spot for them.
  • Trees – Don’t feel that you are confined to smaller plants, all you need is a bit of floor space and a window with an unobstructed view and a tree can be a statement focus in your retirement apartment. The fiddle leaf fig tree is a popular choice, or why not test your green fingers with a smaller tree such as an avocado plant grown from a pit?
  • Herbs and vegetables – Easy to grow and provide you with your own kitchen garden, you don’t need an abundance of outdoor space (if any) to grow your own herbs and vegetables. Easy starters such as lettuce, basil, rosemary, and coriander will fill your apartment with fragrance and add depth to your cooking too.

If you need more inspiration, look at this article from Elle, which outlines a huge range of indoor plants that will thrive in your retirement apartment:


A Guide to Apartment Gardening for Retirees gardening balcony


With many of our retirement apartments having balconies it’s worthwhile listing some tips for cultivating a blooming marvellous balcony too.

The three cornerstones of botanical balcony transformations are weight, shelter, and sunlight. If your balcony is exposed to the elements, then this will affect your choice of plant. Similarly, the levels of sun your balcony receives will dictate whether you choose plants that prefer shade or direct sunlight. Finally, think about the weight of your pots and plants in line with how much weight your balcony can withstand. It’s an idea to choose lighter plastic pots over concrete or terracotta.

For a full list of plants for balconies taking all the above elements into consideration: https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/best-plants-for-balconies/


Retirement apartment living never has to mean sacrificing your love for gardening. With a little creativity, adaptability, and patience, and advice from our guide to apartment gardening for retirees, you can create a lush and vibrant garden oasis right in the heart of your home. If, however, you crave the wide-open spaces and full immersion in nature that a garden provides, then here are some beautiful gardens that you can visit right nearby to each of our retirement properties.

To find out more about luxury retirement living in Shipley, Derby, Thornton-Cleveleys, and Brighouse, visit https://burghleyretirement.co.uk/locations/ to download a brochure or call 0800 999 1989 to arrange a personal tour.

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