From Special Reports

With more Americans over 65 years old than at any time in history, the trend is toward aging in place – adapting our homes to accommodate the needs of the elderly and the disabled. Why not adapt our gardens to do the same, asks Joe Washington, host of HGTV’s “Ground Breakers.”

Washington will speak at the October meeting of the Coweta County Master Gardeners Backyard Association. The free presentation, “Adapt and Garden Smart,” begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the UGA Extension – Coweta County, 255 Pine Road, Newnan.

The combination of lack of mobility because of aging or disability and performing what can be strenuous tasks often challenges older gardeners. Washington has talked with experts in horticulture therapy and landscaping to develop tools, tips and techniques to keep gardening on your lifetime “can-do” list. One solution does not fit everyone, and Washington’s presentation will provide ideas to suit individual needs.

Joe Washington is a Cobb County Master Gardener Volunteer who currently serves on the board of the Cobb County Extension Service. He was evening sports anchor at NBC affiliate WXIA-TV in Atlanta and specialized in coverage of high school athletics. Now he is the host of “Ground Breakers,” the longest running landscape show on HGTV.

The veteran broadcaster has successfully embraced big projects in all phases of his career. Beginning in 1996 he hosted WTBS’ “interact.atlanta,” which was named the National Broadcasting Association’s “Best Public Affairs Show” in 1997. During his 20-year stint at WXIA, he won three Southeast Regional Emmys. He also handled news anchoring and reporting for the station.

Washington, a single father of two sons, has interests that include landscape work in his own yard along with woodworking, bicycling, playing play golf, cooking, and watching movies and documentaries.

The Backyard Association is an educational program sponsored by the Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs). The presentations are free to the public and are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at UGA Extension – Coweta County, 255 Pine Road, Newnan.

Registration is not required, although you can call the Extension office at (770) 254-2620 to be included in the drawing for door prizes of gardening supplies and plants.