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This Oregon garden is designed for aging in place

As the mirror delights in telling me every morning, I’m not getting any younger.

But at least I have plenty of company.

By 2034, according to Danielle Arigoni, AARP’s director of livable communities (and a 1991 University of Oregon grad), there will be more people 65 and over than there are 18 and under for the first time in U.S. history.

Which is why aging in place — and how best to do it — is such a major issue now, one that will only become more important in the next several decades.

“It’s a massive demographic tipping point,” Arigoni says. A 2018 AARP survey found 75% of those 50 (what I call “those kids”) and over want to age in their own home, and the percentages grew even higher in older age groups.

Much has been written about what to do to make a residence’s interior best suited for

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The new Rose Garden is designed for a monarch.

A view of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House
The renovated Rose Garden.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the patriarchal establishment that is the White House, care of the Rose Garden has long been entrusted to the lady of the house. Originally installed by Edith Roosevelt (wife of Theodore), the garden was redesigned by Ellen Axson Wilson and given its modern look by Jacqueline Kennedy. So it should not have come as a surprise when earlier this summer the White House announced that our current first lady, Melania Trump, would put her own personal stamp on the garden.

But when the revamped Rose Garden was opened to news media on Saturday, there was little in the new design to suggest a feminine touch. The exuberant flower beds, bursting with colors, were replaced by disciplined rows of green bushes interspersed with roses in muted pastels; the crab apple trees that had given both color and shade had been uprooted and removed,

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A Garden Designed to Run Wild

In “To the Small Celandine” (1815), William Wordsworth marvels at the itinerant nature of the flowering plant: “Careless of thy neighbourhood, / Thou dost show thy pleasant face / On the moor, and in the wood.” The ode is one of three the poet wrote to his favorite flower — commonly known as the lesser celandine or fig buttercup and recognizable for its glossy, egg-yolk-yellow blooms — which is also a persistent weed. This fact, that what some see as a flicker of natural brilliance is to others a nuisance to be removed, puts the lesser celandine, along with many other wildflowers, in a precarious position. And indeed, so many gardeners come down on the side of “nuisance” that to cultivate wildflowers purposely, to allow them to be the focus of one’s labors, even, is something of a rebellious act.

This is an idea that has captivated Caroline Kent, the

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