After two back breaking, knee compressing, sciatica triggering hours in my garden, I get it!
The accompanying photo may not look like much to the uninitiated, but these unassuming rolling racks represent an important step forward for those no longer able to experience the joy they once derived by getting down on their hands and knees in the pursuit of cultivating their flower or vegetable gardens.
This month, the Boothbay Region Garden Club garden therapy team was on tap to help Gregory Wing residents break in their new vertical planters. The racks were obtained through grant money secured by LincolnHealth to enhance programming at St. Andrews Village.
Though a sunny day, it was cool enough that participants were more comfortable doing their gardening indoors with the removable rack trays that could be set upon a tabletop. Either standing or sitting, residents took up their trowels and began their gardens, preparing the boxes first with potting soil and then adding their flowers and vegetables - no bending or knee crunching required.
With future meals in mind, residents planted squash, beans, peas, and strawberries. Additional large pots were filled with tomato plants surrounded by lettuce. Border flowers were then added to pretty up the vertical tiers while the vegetables take root, and smaller pots of pansies were planted to brighten up the outdoor patio tables.
This activity provided an opportunity for residents to reminisce about gardens past while using their hands to create anew. The vertical gardens will hopefully yield not only a bountiful crop of edibles, but will provide future points of conversation and engagement as vegetables are harvested through the summer to dress up their homemade pizzas and add fresh and healthy veggies to other meals.
Garden therapy is one of the many programs offered at the Gregory Wing to encourage active participation of those who are able and provide passive enjoyment by those who are not. The program is sponsored by the BRGC whose members visit the Village with a new and interactive project each month.
If you are interested in joining the garden club therapy team, contact Sandra Abernathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.