Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
Seniors who are using their green thumbs to garden are finding that it can benefit both health and mind.
We spoke with Holiday Retirement, who shared the benefits that seniors have experienced gardening in their communities.
Learn more from their first-hand accounts about gardening and read tips for beginner gardeners.
Gardening for Seniors
Are you putting your green thumb to good use?
By spending 2.5 hours a week gardening, seniors can reduce their risk for multiple health issues and reduce social isolation.
Learn more from Holiday Retirement residents, who share more about their experiences gardening.
Name: Kee S.
Community: South Wind Heights, Jonesboro, Arkansas
“I am happiest when I am outside in the garden.”
Kee moved into South Wind Heights in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 2011, and quickly became the senior living community’s local gardener. She can be seen from morning until night, anywhere on the grounds, keeping the flowerbeds beautiful. Until recently, Kee was seen pulling a cardboard box around South Wind Heights to hold the clippings she trimmed from the flowerbeds. To celebrate her most recent birthday, South Wind Heights provided her with a new “garden cart,” complete with wheels and a long handle.
Name: Bob L. and Liz K.
Community: University Pines, Pensacola, Florida
“We both firmly believe that spending time outside and getting lost in nature is what keeps us healthy and energized!”
Gardening and planting are familiar hobbies at University Pines, but Bob and Liz stand out as the senior living community’s resident green thumbs and masters of the garden. Thanks to this couple’s keen eye for landscaping and color, this senior living community in Pensacola, Florida, enjoys a variety of greenery, plants, and ferns.
Name: Green Thumbs Gardening Group (Mary H., Ellie S., Barbara G., Niurca H., Jim C.)
Community: Dogwood Estates, Denton, Texas
“What I enjoy the most about gardening is the end result. I enjoy watching the plants grow tall and then harvesting the vegetables when they are ready to go to the chef.” — Barbara G., Dogwood Estates resident and member of Green Thumbs Gardening Group
At Dogwood Estates in Denton, Texas, many residents have long enjoyed gardening. They brought this love of the outdoors to the senior living community with the Green Thumbs Gardening Group. This group of eight residents spends time each day nurturing crops growing in planter boxes, which were built by the community chef and the community manager. The community has grown everything from potatoes and squash to cilantro and mint, and now watermelon! Most of the crops are donated to Chef Tim in the kitchen, where he turns the fresh herbs and vegetables into yummy treats for the residents.
Gardening Tips for Beginners
Are you a beginner gardener?
Consider these gardening tips for beginners, which include:
- Taking note of the sun: How much sun does your patio or balcony get?
- Watching the weather report: Do you need to invest in heavy pots or anchors, so that weather doesn’t blow your garden away?
- Getting your watering can ready: How often do you need to water your garden?
- Starting simple and easy: Herbs are great for beginning gardeners. Which herb will you maintain?
- Summoning your inner Jolly Green Giant: Will your garden thrive in a window box or container garden?
- Stocking up on potting mix: Which potting mix will you use?
You can read more gardening tips on Holiday Retirement’s gardening checklist.
If you are still concerned about creating a garden in a senior living, consider this infographic which features suggestions for gardening in comfort:
Do you garden in a senior living community? What has your experience been like? Share your story and tips for gardeners making the move to senior living in the comments below.
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