Residents cultivate food flowers and friendships in community gardens
What’s better than a day spent in the sun, getting exercise and playing in the dirt? Doing all of that with friends! Many Holiday Retirement residents enjoy gardening with fellow residents thanks to in-house garden clubs at their senior living communities. With outdoor space aplenty at most Holiday Retirement communities, shared gardens, or community gardens, are easily accessible without having to drive or find a ride. Furthermore, raised garden beds are common so seniors don’t have to worry about getting up and down while they garden. These fun outdoor activities reward Holiday Retirement’s seniors with not only flowers and food, but also meaningful connections to fellow residents.
Here are how two retirement communities are getting their hands dirty this spring:
Homegrown vegetables take center stage
Holiday Retirement’s Atrium at Gainesville garden club is led by resident Tom Otto, who can usually be found outside, working hard in his garden patch. Tom’s vegetables have even been incorporated into the community’s meals year-round. His fellow residents recently enjoyed his broccoli at the retirement community’s Valentine’s Day gala. Last summer they munched on his cherry tomatoes and Romaine lettuce, and they’re looking forward to trying his cabbage this spring.
Atrium at Gainesville enrichment coordinator Annina Jest says, “our gardens wouldn’t be the same without Tom. In addition to gardening, he also loves woodworking. He makes bird houses and bird feeders, whirly-gigs and garden benches—all adding to the beauty of Atrium at Gainesville.”
A garden club blossoms
Holiday Retirement at Apple Blossom is well known for its garden club, “Blossoms and Buds.” And it just can’t seem to stop growing! The popular club is continuously welcoming new members—and adding garden beds! Last year club members purchased three raised garden beds. The club was such a success that it had to purchase three more beds! Garden club members even had to add a garden shed to hold all their tools.
Best of all, every Apple Blossom resident can enjoy the fruits of the garden club’s labor. Vegetables and fruits harvested from the garden beds are placed for the taking in the senior living community’s atrium. The garden club also tends to a butterfly garden where residents can sit on porch swings to watch the butterflies come and go.
Enrichment coordinator Kayla Cowart Boyce said of the community garden effort, “it’s a perfect representation of the Apple Blossom community as a whole—welcoming, thriving and beautiful.”
Do you or a loved one have a green thumb? Get in touch with a Holiday Retirement community near you to learn about senior gardening opportunities.