Small Gardens Yielding Bumper Crop of Benefits

Small Gardens Yielding Bumper Crop of Benefits


How does your garden grow?

A few months ago, we talked about the therapeutic value of gardening and the opportunities available at many Sunshine Retirement Living communities. Maybe you’re already seeing, smelling and maybe even tasting some results in your community garden with colorful fragrant flowers or fresh vegetables and herbs.

Today, we thought we’d check in with our friends at Garden Way Retirement Community in Eugene, Oregon to see what’s cropping up in their rich Willamette Valley soil.

“We have three garden beds reserved exclusively for our kitchen and eight community beds for the residents to share,” says Brenda Olivarez, Activity Director at Garden Way.

“Herbs and vegetables grown in the kitchen beds are used for recipes as well as in our salad bar at lunch and dinner.”

The residents have planted flowers, succulents and vegetables, and are enjoying some nice results already. As mentioned in our previous story, the results of gardening go far beyond the lovely flowers and harvested veggies.

As Garden Way resident Kathleen Eaton says, “Gardening reaches the heart of the soul. When everything feels dramatic and stressful, I go to my garden and admire the flowers, enjoy the breeze, and I am able to breathe and let go. Plus, it’s good for my mental and physical health.”

Fellow resident Pete Wagner agrees, “I have always been into gardening, it was a good way for me to cope when my husband was sick. When I moved to Garden Way, I noticed how everyone was so happy working in their garden’s that I thought I should do it again. When other residents tell me how beautiful my bed looks, I know I earned my gold star for the day.”

The growing season is just getting into full bloom. So why not talk to your activity director about planting something in one of your community’s pop-up gardens. Or if your community does not offer a resident garden or greenhouse, ask the staff to set you up with a garden box for your window or patio. Chances are, a little gardening will grow on you.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

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