Flowers, veggies come to life in tranquil space
With vibrant red roses, a meandering stone path and a charming gazebo, Maplewood’s garden space is a draw for residents, staff and family members alike.
The garden was recently at its peak with the purple Japanese lilacs and the wedding bush in full bloom. The roses are now making their debut.
Whether it’s to visit with family members or just be at one with nature, Maplewood’s outdoor space is a special place, says Rachel Corkery, administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator at the Brighton long-term care home.
“When our family members come and visit, it’s the first place they go,” says Rachel.
“Our outdoor spaces are always so well-utilized.”
A particular resident comes to mind when Rachel considers the garden. One woman simply prefers to be outdoors and likes to wander from bench to bench to gazebo and sit for awhile.
Another resident told Rachel she spends her evenings in the garden, until 9 p.m.
Smaller animals – birds and squirrels – are frequent guests of the garden and residents enjoy watching the animals’ antics.
This year, the home was fortunate to receive flowering hanging baskets from a family member who stops by to water them and keep them in their glory.
One attraction of the garden is the raised flower beds. Residents started a variety of vegetable seeds indoors and have now transferred the plants outside. Fresh peas, beans and lettuce are just a few of the vegetables growing in the raised beds.
The home’s dietary department uses the fresh produce for residents’ meals. Nutritional care staff members also utilize the barbecue in the garden often. Whether it’s to cook food or briefly infuse it with the grilled flavour, cooking outside is popular during the warmer summer months.
Rachel has been at Maplewood for eight years and says the gardens were well-established upon her arrival.
She has heard the home teamed up with the Brighton horticultural society several years ago for the planning and planting of perennials that spring to life at different times during the season, ensuring there’s always a punch of colour. The garden’s constant beauty and colour reflect the experts’ insight, Rachel explains.
And the garden will likely continue to be a tranquil and pretty space to be enjoyed by all for years to come.
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