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Cultivating Community Through Gardening at The Ackerly at Timberland

Ackerly Timberland Garden

Alissa Sauer

At The Ackerly at Timberland, we believe retirement is all about doing more of what you love. Whether you have a green thumb or not, gardening is a great way to be engaged in community life while enjoying nature. Here, gardening is more than just a hobby; it’s a therapeutic and fulfilling activity that provides physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Explore the numerous advantages of gardening for seniors and see how residents at The Ackerly are cultivating community through gardening. 

10 Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

Gardening can bring about a myriad of benefits, from physical fitness and mental well-being to emotional fulfillment and a sense of purpose. Take a closer look at how older adults can reap the benefits of gardening.

1. Exercise and Mobility

Gardening encourages seniors to engage in gentle physical activity, such as bending, stretching, digging, and planting. These movements help improve flexibility, strength, and overall mobility, making it an excellent low-impact exercise.

2. Vitamin D Exposure

Spending time outdoors in the garden exposes seniors to natural sunlight, aiding in the production of essential Vitamin D. This, in turn, helps maintain bone health and boosts the immune system.

3. Enhanced Hand-Eye Coordination

Gardening activities like planting seeds or transplanting seedlings require precision and steady hands, promoting better hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.

4. Stress Reduction

Gardening is known to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. The act of tending to plants, watching them grow, and enjoying the beauty of nature can have a calming effect on the mind.

5. Mood Improvement

The natural environment of a garden, filled with colorful flowers and the soothing sounds of birds, can elevate mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in seniors.

6. Cognitive Stimulation

Gardening involves planning, problem-solving, and memory recall, which provide cognitive stimulation. Seniors can benefit from the mental exercise that gardening offers, helping to keep their minds sharp.

7. Sense of Accomplishment

Watching a seed blossom into a beautiful flower or harvesting homegrown vegetables can provide a profound sense of accomplishment and purpose, boosting self-esteem.

8. Connection to Nature

Gardening fosters a deeper connection with nature, allowing seniors to appreciate the cycle of life and the beauty of the natural world. This connection can bring a sense of peace and contentment.

9. Social Interaction

Many seniors enjoy gardening in communal settings, such as retirement communities or gardening clubs. This provides opportunities for social interaction, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

10. Goal Setting

Gardening involves setting and achieving goals, whether it’s planting a new flower bed or growing a bountiful crop of vegetables. Seniors find fulfillment in working towards these goals.

Gardening at The Ackerly at Timberland

At The Ackerly at Timberland, our community garden is readily available for all residents in all types of care, including assisted living and memory care. A segment of our expansive garden is dedicated to raised-bed gardens for members of our community. Here, residents engage in the age-old art of gardening, nurturing flowers, herbs, and vegetables. It’s not just about planting seeds; it’s about sowing the seeds of connection, purpose, and shared ownership of our community.

Our residents take pride in their gardening duties, from meticulous pruning to diligent weeding. These activities do more than just make our community garden thrive; they cultivate a sense of belonging and purpose.

Meet Stan and Diana Ness

Stan and Diana Ness are the heart and soul of our gardening community. Since they joined Ackerly, they’ve been deeply involved in our garden oasis. Stan makes it a daily ritual to visit their garden patch, tending to their cherished tomato plants. He’s not just a gardener; he’s a mentor, offering advice and expertise to fellow gardeners as their flora flourishes under his care.

But Stan and Diana’s joy doesn’t stop at their garden patch. They love sharing the literal fruits of their labor with their neighbors. Recently, they started tending a patch for a neighbor who has the will but not the physical ability to garden. In doing so, they’ve not only created joy for themselves but have also spread that joy throughout our community.

Tour The Ackerly at Timberland Today!

While some prospective residents may hesitate at the thought of leaving their gardens behind, we wholeheartedly encourage residents to get their hands dirty. At Ackerly, our community garden isn’t just a space for growing plants; it’s a place where friendships blossom and a sense of purpose thrives. We believe that the things you love should come with you into retirement, and gardening is no exception. Contact us today to learn more about indpendent living, assisted living, and memory care at The Ackerly.


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