Winter has come and plants are hibernating for the season; their roots are asleep, waiting in anticipation for spring. Once spring arrives, gardens can bloom once more.
This past spring, Gateway CERH added raised accessible garden beds to two more long-term care facilities and retirement residences in Huron County. The goal of this project was to promote the health of the residents within these facilities.
Gardens can have an enormous, positive impact on one’s health. There are benefits from gardening from doing the activity digging, weeding, caring for the plants. Even being in a garden and appreciating the aesthetic can have social, cognitive benefits. There is a collective enjoyment of the plants that extends to people seeing the plants grow and thrive - a truly wonderful experience.
The wooden garden beds were constructed by a local volunteer, Steven Moran, and provided to Harbour Hill: Retirement Suites and Braemar: Retirement Centre. This was promptly followed by the addition of dirt by research assistants. Plants were delivered soon after.
Gateway CERH Research Assistants, Sage Milne and Alexa Harrison ventured out again to each of these facilities to interview the residents on who they are, their gardening secrets to success and what has been their experience with the raised garden beds. Listen to these expert gardeners recount their experience:
If you are interested in learning more about this project, you can watch Gateway CERH lecture on this project. Sage Milne is accompanied by panelists, Betty Hendricks, President of the Goderich and District Horticultural Society, Ruby Debrower, Recreational Manager at Harbour Hill and Michele Melady-Young, retired nurse and Master Gardener.
This project was made possible by funding from TD Friends of the Environment Fund.