Beautifying Our Community with Planting Partners
Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years. – Unknown
Over the past few days, our Planting Partners made our community just a little bit more beautiful by planting pots of flowers to be displayed in our courtyards throughout the summer.
Planting Partners typically takes place every year in the McGregor Gardens Courtyard. For the event, family members, staff, and volunteers’ partner with residents to assist in planting a 20-inch pot of annuals.
Our residents come to our Planting Partners program to enjoy fun in the sun, experience hands-on gardening, and engage in one-on-one conversation with a partner as they plant their flowers together.
For Kisha Flonnory, our Director of Activities, Planting Partners is one of the highlights of summer at McGregor. She says that the program is “valuable for our seniors because it is an enjoyable form of exercise, encourages the use of all motor skills, improves endurance and strength, reduces stress levels, provides interest in nature and the outdoors, and improves wellbeing as a result of social interaction.”
Many of our residents have told us that having a garden is one of the things they miss the most about their lives before coming to McGregor. Planting Partners gives these residents the ability to satisfy their green thumb while playing a role in beautifying our community.
“I love being out in the sun!” cheerfully explained one resident as she placed a flower in her pot.
“I really miss gardening like I used to,” said another resident as she proudly showed off her flowers. “I’m happy we get to come out here today for this.”
Following the Planting Partners program, each pot is designated with the name of a current resident at McGregor. For our residents, this is a much-needed excuse to venture outside to check on and water their plants.
This pot also serves as a conversation piece, giving residents the ability to take their family, friends, and other visitors to the courtyard to show off their work. The Planting Partners program gives them something tangible that they can be proud of and share with others.
The task of planting a few flowers with another person may seem simple, but it is a great source of joy in the lives of our residents.
We like to consider so many beneficial ways to boost the health of our residents.
There are so many positive benefits of leisure gardening, not to mention the social engagement and relationship building! Gardening is a healthy, stimulating physical activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Gardening requires regular and continuous care; therefore, for older adults actively engaged with their home gardens, gardening provides opportunities for increased physical activity, which can prevent osteoporosis, reduce the risk of some cancers, Type 2 diabetes, depression and heart disease. It can lower stress, increase serotonin, boosts heart health reducing the risk of stroke, increases mobility, and boosts brain health! Plus, it was a beautiful day to share in the experience with others!
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. – Alfred Austin
While it may be too late to be a Planting Partner this summer, there are still plenty of opportunities to volunteer at McGregor.