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From the Neighborhood Press

A Springtime Flower Garden

Ellen stepped out onto her patio with her cup of coffee to start the day. The mornings were getting warmer, and she only needed a light jacket these days. As she sat at her patio table, she thought about how to make her outdoors more cheerful this Spring. Somehow there was energy in that pure mountain air. It was wonderful living right next to the Sandia Mountains in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. A few flowers? Ellen adored the bright colors of her Spring and Summer flower garden she used to have. Now, she lived in a senior living community.  It was wonderful. She didn’t have to worry about tending to a large yard anymore. But a few flowers? It seemed manageable right there on her patio. A big pot of tulips in all colors would be perfect. She’d only need a few garden supplies. A watering can and some garden gloves.

Is gardening one of your passions? Or perhaps you would like to add some color into your life this Spring. Even if you have a private patio or balcony in your retirement home, it’s possible to enjoy some flowers or greenery. It can be a small pot or planter. If you have former gardening experience, you’ll know just the right time to plant and when the last average frost occurs. Rio Rancho is unique in that it is a dessert at high elevation. Even though the days can be warm, temperatures can dip at night. If you just have a small pot, it’s possible to move your flower garden indoors for the night or cover them. Plan accordingly. You don’t want to be carrying a heavy planter indoors every night! Here are some garden ideas for a small patio, balcony, or even the kitchen window of your retirement home.

Peppermint to Parsley

Herbs. If you still enjoy cooking or even making small snacks to eat, sprinkling some fresh herbs such as chives, parsley or sweet basil over your food is healthy and fun. Using a small garden pot, you can fill it with some plants and have a pretty decent harvest. Peppermint will give you an abundance of fresh leaves for tea as well. Harvest some leaves and put them in a mug with some hot water and a little sugar if you like it sweet. The tea will brew as you drink it and is very relaxing in the evenings especially in chillier Spring weather.

Flowers. If you enjoy bright colors and watching flowers bloom, all you need is a pot, some fertile soil, and some flower plants. Some flowers also grow well indoors in the light of a window. You can also find pots of flowers already planted and ready to take home. As Spring fades into Summer, you can continue using the pot and just add more flowers. Follow the recommendations for watering, and you’ll be able to watch them grow when you step outside each morning.

A cactus garden. We are in New Mexico after all! It’s fun to develop a small cactus garden with colorful small cacti, rockwork or other garden decorations. This could be something to set in the middle of your kitchen table or by a window. Find a shallow pot for the cactus plants. You won’t need to water them very often, making them very maintenance friendly. In fact, pay close attention to watering instructions for your new cactus plants and write watering days and amounts in your calendar. Overwatering can be detrimental to your desert garden.

Indoor plants. Some green indoors can feel summery and inviting. There are many types of plants from larger palm trees to orchids. Some of these plants require less maintenance than others. And of course, the size of your home will play a role in the plants you choose. Make sure you have delivery help for larger plants and pots.

Check with your senior community and find out what is advisable. Some retirement or adult communities have further gardening opportunities. But a little greenery indoors or watching flowers bloom on your patio may be all you need. As you choose your plants, it’s also wise to consider pets and children who may live with you or visit. Some plants can be poisonous. If you have a loved on in an assisted living or nursing home, you’ll want to keep it simple and find a small but colorful plant for them to water each day, if they are able.

Spring is a fun time to watch things grow and experience nature. Its warmer now, so you’ll want to spend more time outdoors. Bring some color into your life. And if a pot of flowers sounds like a little too much work, bring a bouquet of bright Spring flowers home next time you are out and about to enjoy!

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2 responses to “A Springtime Flower Garden

  1. Gardening is such a fun and enjoyable hobby for our seniors! It gets them outdoors, gives them a purpose and something to care for. Plus the satisfaction of watching your plants grow into flowers, herbs, or vegetables is amazing!

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