Garden takes root at senior living community

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Residents at Mount Miguel Covenant Village are enjoying the fruits – and the vegetables and beauty – of their gardening labor. This month marks the continuing care retirement community’s one-year garden anniversary and residents and staff celebrated with an intimate garden party to toast the success of a resident-driven project that began a year ago. “A home is not a home until it has a garden,” said Garden Club President and Mount Miguel resident Linda Smith.

Residents at Mount Miguel Covenant Village are enjoying the fruits – and the vegetables and beauty – of their gardening labor. This month marks the continuing care retirement community’s one-year garden anniversary and residents and staff celebrated with an intimate garden party to toast the success of a resident-driven project that began a year ago. “A home is not a home until it has a garden,” said Garden Club President and Mount Miguel resident Linda Smith.

Bunches of colorful and fragrant flowers grow alongside a variety of herbs and vegetables, including artichokes, onions, tomatoes, sweet peas, and lettuce. The five, 10’ x 4’ planter boxes are located next to the health care center and equipped with underground sprinklers for easy and consistent watering. Residential living residents tended four of the five plots and residents living in assisted living care the other.

“The gardens are a beautiful addition to our community and they’re valuable to the well-being of our residents,” said Executive Director Rich Miller.

Resident Life Director Margo Bule explained gardening benefits seniors in multiple ways. “Gardening is an enjoyable form of exercise, and the garden itself offers a space where residents can socialize or relax in the fresh outdoors,” she said. “The strong scent of basil, the sweet smelling flowers, and the dirt between their fingers stimulates the senses. We have some gifted green thumbs living at our community!”

Residents living in assisted living and the healthcare center find respite in the garden by either tending to the plants or sitting and enjoying the stillness of nature. “Gardens can serve as a sanctuary,” Bule explained. “Working in the soil or sitting quietly, the experience is calming at any age.”

The LifeConnect® wellness partnership between staff and residents encourages resident-driven projects like the garden. “This is our residents’ home. The activities, programming, amenities, and even the aesthetics are planned and created based on their needs and expectations,” Miller said.

Garden takes root at senior living community