Maplewood’s gardens the bee’s knees

‘Our gardens are thriving,’ says LEC Rachel Corkery

Maplewood received a ‘bee’utiful surprise when its concern about wasps in its garden led to calling a professional.

As it turns out, the Brighton long-term care home’s lush garden beds have become a bit of a haven for the environmentally vital honey bee.

“We’ve had a great summer here,” says Rachel Corkery, administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) of Maplewood.

“We’ve had to put signs up as we’ve become a honey bee-friendly garden. One of our hydrangea bushes is just full of honey bees.

“The bees are busy and doing a great job out there.”

Rachel says the signs state the presence of honey bees for those who may have allergies. “We need to be extra cautious.”

She isn’t entirely certain about what’s responsible for the increased honey bee population.

“I don’t know if one of our neighbours has (an apiary). I know there are a lot of backyard beekeepers nowadays. I’m not sure if that’s where they’re coming from. But our garden is just rich with vegetation this year.”

Maplewood takes pride in its plethora of gardens that boast a variety of flowers and vegetables. This year is yielding plenty of cucumbers, the tomatoes are doing well and the flowers, bushes and trees are growing abundantly.

“Our garden is loving the (weather) conditions this year. We still have colour in the garden, which is nice.”

The home also keeps some milkweed plants, which are known to attract monarch butterflies.

Life enrichment staff members and three or four residents help harvest and water the gardens. “It’s just thriving out there,” Rachel says.

“Our garden, just as it always is, is a favourite spot for our residents and families.”

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