ClarkLindsey residents finding joy in gardening | Gardening

Audrey J. Powers

URBANA — As one more blazing very hot working day rolled about, John Jordan was up early and out watering his backyard garden.

Acquiring a backyard garden plot was 1 of the two items — alongside with a garage — that he wanted when he and his spouse, Pat, created the shift in 2020 from their house in Urbana to an condominium at the ClarkLindsey retirement group in southeast Urbana, Jordan recalled.

“I’ve been a gardener due to the fact my earliest years,” he stated.

Jordan is between dozens of resident gardeners at ClarkLindsey, and acquiring readily available plots on the grounds “means the world” to the inhabitants who are likely them, according to Randy Hauser, ClarkLindsey’s horticulturist and landscape designer.

“For some people today, it is actually one particular of the backlinks to, I consider, some of their happiest memories of house, or where ever household was,” he claimed.

ClarkLindsey’s garden program consists of some in-ground plots, some lifted beds obtainable to individuals who use walkers or usually just can’t get down on the ground, and some elevated beds with cutouts that make it possible for those in wheelchairs to roll in and simply obtain the plantings.

There are about 30 plots, some of them shared among inhabitants, with area for additional, Hauser said.

He equally enjoys chatting with and learning from the resident gardeners — some of whom are in their mid-90s — “and they outwork me,” he mentioned.

“These persons have gardened considerably extended than I have,” Hauser explained. “I go to them a whole lot for advice, and not just ‘How does this grow?’ I enjoy their aesthetic eye. I really like their candid assessments of what I do.”

Jordan, who was govt director of the University YMCA ahead of his retirement, grew up on a farm in DeKalb County and has memories of assisting his mother tend the veggies and flowers they grew.

When he and his spouse moved to Urbana 32 a long time ago, they planted a back garden in their garden, like cuttings of peonies that arrived from his household farm. To help you save that little bit of heritage, Jordan, in transform, transplanted the peonies from their previous garden to his ClarkLindsey backyard.

“They’re pretty much as outdated as I am,” he stated.

For Jordan, his ClarkLindsey garden — which is manufacturing bouquets, tomatoes and strawberries — is a variety of image of the family members farm the place he was raised, with its antique posts from the farm, a gate and a windmill, he said.

Fellow ClarkLindsey gardener Diane Wardrop and her husband, Jim — like the Jordans — moved to a ClarkLindsey apartment in 2020.

She experienced many flower gardens at their former household north of St. Joseph, and the capacity to proceed gardening at ClarkLindsey was “absolutely important,” she reported.

“It “was a person of the initial things I asked about,” she recalled.

Gardening is element of her actual physical exercising, Wardrop reported, but looking at issues increase also raises the spirits, she explained.

“It also just presents me a wonderful joy to be able to plant factors, seeds and vegetation, and appreciate the aesthetic worth, the physical value of functioning with the soil and just the pleasure of the individuals. Gardeners are very happy folks,” she stated.

For the citizens who back garden, it is also an crucial social time, with heaps of sharing of bouquets, tomatoes and environmentally friendly peppers and becoming ready to appear all around at other peoples’ gardens, she claimed.

When development on an access highway disrupted a handful of plots at the south stop of the back garden spot, Hauser reported the back garden place was expanded when the plots have been changed on the north aspect.

In recognition of ClarkLindsey’s two wheelchair-obtainable gardens, the Illinois Landscape Contractors Affiliation just lately presented the retirement local community with its 2022 Gold Award for Excellence in Landscape.

Two more wheelchair gardens are planned for a back garden growth underway, and a 3rd a single is prepared for ClarkLindsey’s upcoming assisted-living programming house, in accordance to Marketing Director Karen Blatzer.

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