In Spring of 2018. Trellis had the pleasure of launching a horticultural therapy gardening program at Mercy Housing’s Senior Residence community, located just east of downtown Atlanta. This independent living community was built in 2017 and includes several outdoor raised garden beds.
Gardening for elders can be challenging on many levels – from bending, pulling, weeding, heavy lifting, and constant use of hands. To keep gardening activities fresh and new for the residents, Trellis’ program included flower arranging with native flowers and cooking from the garden.
On a recent hot summer day, activities were brought indoors and residents were engaged in selecting fresh-cut hydrangea blooms to add to mixed flower arrangements. One of our clients told us that her arthritis was very painful that day and she did not think she could participate. So we modified the activity where the client could select her choice of flowers and the container, and Trellis staff would help her create the arrangement, which involved trimming stems and inserting them into a solid foam block inside a container. After about five minutes of staff help, she took over the entire flower arranging process and actively worked on her arrangement for 45 minutes.
“Conversation, beautiful flowers, and a focused, fun activity is all it takes to feel good and whole again.”
Tony Wright, Program Volunteer
Check back soon to see a video of Tony’s story.
“When I’m working around plants, it’s like a ray of sunshine.”