AUXILIARY NOTES: Gardening grows at Peace Arch Hospital

Auxiliary donated $1,000 for residential-care gardens at Peace Arch Hospital

In May, the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary donated $1,000 to the Residential Care department at the hospital to provide gardening supplies for their recreational therapy program.

In July the executive of the auxiliary was given a tour of these gardens and we were amazed to see how wonderful they are.

There are five garden spaces at the residential care department and all residents are encouraged to participate in the garden club.

The planning of the gardens starts early in the spring. In March and April, the residents get together to decide what type of gardens they would like. Each garden has a budget of about $200.

The gardens are planned by the residents because this is their home. Like all gardens some have lots of sun and some have more shade. Lots of consideration goes into what type of plants will suit each garden.

Most of the residents have some gardening experience and many have been lifelong gardeners with extensive knowledge of plants. The residents are often the ones teaching the volunteers and staff about the plants.

When all the decisions are made about what plants need to be purchased a visit to the nurseries is planned. The residents take the bus with the recreational therapists and purchase the plants. There are often a few changes at this time. It is a very empowering experience for residents to have a say in what plants and flowers they have in the gardens which they visit.

The gardens are planted by the residents as they are able and are helped by staff and volunteers. Then like all anxious gardeners they wait for sunny weather to see the results of all their hard work.

Gardens are places of sanctuary, of joy and happiness. They are a great place to sit and read, or a place to just feel the wind or warmth of the sun. They are a great place to listen to the birds and enjoy the clouds. They are a wonderful place to take visitors and families.

The gardens are enjoyed by many of the residents.

They get a lot of joy by just by being able to be outside, to dead head flowers and water them.

n Our Superfluity Shop on Prospect Avenue is always accepting donations of clothing and small household items.

If you are able to donate items of furniture, please call the shop at 604-536-7744 and speak to the manager about it.

The Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary Society is always looking for energetic volunteers of all ages. Applications can be picked up at the Superfluity Shop, located at 15163 Prospect Ave., the Gift shop at Peace Arch Hospital and at the information desk located in the lobby of the hospital. As well application forms may be downloaded at www.pahas.ca

Felicity Matthews writes monthly on behalf of the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary.

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