At any age, gardening is one of the best activities we can do outdoors. It stimulates all the senses, awakens our connection with nature, and rewards us with fresh flowers and nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Many of Hebrew SeniorLife’s campuses have community gardens where residents and patients can satisfy their green thumb. Nancy Connery, the head of the gardening committee at Orchard Cove, said they recently had to expand the number of plots due to the overwhelming popularity. “We have added several large planters on the skilled nursing patio. We try to give these spots to residents who may have a harder time getting down to the garden.” Connery and Hebrew SeniorLife both try to keep accessibility in mind when designing Hebrew SeniorLife’s gardens. All of the beds are raised off the ground and the pathways are wide enough for a walker or wheelchair.
However, our residents are not the only ones who benefit from our gardens. The NewBridge on the Charles culinary team operates its own garden on campus dedicated to supplementing our kitchens’ “farm to fork” offerings with fresh vegetables, lettuces, and herbs.
Connery maintains several tomato plants, herbs, and flowers. However, she feels that the greatest benefit gardening can give is a sense of purpose. “Looking at beautiful flowers or eating fresh produce that you have planted, cared for, and brought to fruition is incredibly satisfying.”