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Let’s get our hands dirty!

Get your spades and watering cans ready! National Gardening Week during the first full week of June is a great way to get those residents outdoors and motivated!

Cultivating a garden is a great activity for seniors in spring and summer. It’s fun, purposeful, and even provides numerous health benefits. Being out in the sunlight and creating a beautiful space can help bring peace and relaxation to your community as well.

Remind your residents that gardening helps to lower stress, puts them in a positive mood, and increases their level of serotonin which helps fight depression. 

Gardening helps to increase mobility by providing physical exercise and strengthening muscles.  Also, by engaging in functions like dexterity, problem-solving, endurance and sensory awareness studies have found that gardening can even reduce the risk of dementia by as much as 36%.  

Safety ideas

  • Be sure to provide your seniors with lightweight tools and buckets
  • Protect them from the sun.  Avoid gardening during the hottest part of the day, wear sunscreen and have a hat or umbrella for protection.  
  • Stay hydrated and be sure to have plenty of water available.
  • Try to use raised beds.  This improves drainage and makes harvesting easier.
  • Provide chairs for resting.  Remind them to take little breaks.

Here is what you can do…

Here are a few ideas that will inspire your residents to get their hands dirty!

  • Plan an educational workshop at your location, local library, public garden, or garden center. Check around your local area to see if there are any local garden groups that may want to come and do demonstrations, hold lessons, or actually help plant a garden.
  • Have a hands-on “How Do You Select Flowers/Shrubs/Vegetables for Your Garden” workshop or attend one at an area nursery.
  • Plan a garden tour! This is a great time to increase the knowledge of growing in your area.
  • Beautify a manageable area or enhance an existing garden – don’t have one at your location? Now is the time to plan and plant a community garden on site!
  • Plan an activity with a youth group or school students to start seedlings.
  • Place a plant or flower arrangement in a prominent place, or on dining tables – make sure to post one of the beautiful National Garden Week posters.

No room outside?  Bring the gardening indoors!

  • Plant a terrarium – You can purchase premade ones, but you can also make your own.  Here’s one we liked.
  • Try succulents – They thrive in any environment and don’t require much TLC.  Just water them every once in a while, a little sun and you’re good to go!
  • How about a hanging garden – here are some ideas for ways to grow a patch anywhere!  We think the jars would look fantastic in the visitors area with your residents name beside their own plant.

Garden-Inspired Crafts are always a hit!

YouTube Videos to learn more about Gardening – or just to enjoy them!

  • We have pulled together some great garden tour videos, we have even included some ASMR garden videos for a nice meditative afternoon activity. Never heard of it? ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is a relaxing, often sedative sensation that begins on the scalp and moves down the body. Also known as “brain massage,” it’s triggered by placid sights and sounds such as whispers, accents, and crackles. Just go to our Gardening Week Playlist on YouTube!

Here are some videos that may inspire your residents as well: