How I love my little garden, where I sit and contemplate.
My perfect piece of paradise inside my garden gate.
Hanging baskets, pretty pots, the flowers are brimming over.
The grass so green, the buttercups, the daisies, and the clover.
– Susan C Walkinshaw-Kelly
While some lose themselves in meditation and others in a good book, the members of the Garden Club at Elphin Lodge Retirement Village find contentment in digging, pruning, watering, weeding and watching as the plants they nurture flourish.
According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, the therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times.
That may be so, but any gardener will agree that having pests destroy a prized plant overnight or seeing one fail to thrive despite all their TLC is anything but relaxing. Garden gloves might be hurled down in a huff, but it is guaranteed that people bitten by the gardening bug will return for more the next day.
And so it is with the Elphin Lodge Garden Club. “We gather to chat about plants and our gardens, to learn, and share tips and gardening experiences,” says member Lyn Cocking.
In the past year, the group visited Ryan’s Nursery, HomeGrowers and Builders Express for talks and tea. “We’ve watched a Tanya Visser (The Gardener) video; had a quiz and presentation on bonsai by one of our residents, Keith Cosser; Nan and Graham Clark gave a slideshow presentation on the flowers seen on their UK trip; Peter Ronald demonstrated rose pruning, and we ended off this year by going to the Bonsai and Succulent Show at Killarney Mall.”
Last October, the club successfully hosted Open Gardens as part of the Gardens of the Golden City initiative.
The club meets at the Elphin Lodge clubhouse on the third Friday of the month at 2pm. New members are always welcome.
Some Elphin Lodge Garden Club members at the Bonsai and Succulent Show at Killarney Mall: Val Stanley, Gabi Piccini, Jean Johnson, Lyn Cocking, Trish Llewellyn, Barbara Malan and Ann Douglas.