My local garden club was invited to an open garden event in a nearby retirement community of 3,000+ residents, enough to easily fill the 168 plots in their lovely community garden. The plots were planted almost exclusively with ornamentals and the effect was both beautiful and charming.

The plots are free and having one conveys automatic membership in the Garden Club, which meets monthly, sometimes with speakers.  I thought to myself, okay, if need be, I could happily garden in one of these plots, becoming part of its community of seemingly passionate gardeners.

Here are my favorite photos of that garden; scroll down to some personal gardens in the community.


 It was an “Open Garden and Quilt Show” type of event.

Any Private Gardens?

I think I’d be like Sue, happily gardening here while oohing, aahing, chatting and sharing plants with 168+ other gardeners.  But dammit, I want to be able to walk right outside my home/apartment/whatever and be surrounded by plants right there. And I want to be able to sit there in solitary bliss as I watch the bees and hummingbirds. The space could be tiny; in fact, small is good (as we age).  So these ground-floor garden apartments might actually meet my needs.

My mother, also an avid gardener, downsized from a quarter-acre garden to a garden apartment like these.  So was it enough for her? I guess not, because she would almost beg me to let her visit me, over 100 miles away, to do some weeding in my garden. But overall it was the perfect condo community for her – with loads of retirees who had loads of time to partake of the many social activities there, especially playing bridge pool-side.

This community has card games, too, and – a full fitness center, computer labs, performing arts center, tennis, bocce, and so on, plus 300 clubs and committees, according to its website.  The clubs include the Earth Day Committee, Resident Recycling Committee, Residents Supporting Sustainability, Sustainability Committee, Wildlife Habitat Committee, Birders, Garden Club and Tree Huggers! So, plenty of eco-conscious seniors live here – counter to pundits telling us they care less than Gen Whatevers.  And I bet I’d make friends taking water aerobics, joining the movie group and maybe even the Ukulele players.

So am I Moving?

Moving anywhere is absolutely not in my plans!  It was just 11 years ago that I downsized to an extremely social and walkable community with plenty to do and like-minded people to do them with.  But admitting that none of us know what we might face as we get older and perhaps needier, I was heartened to discover such a beautiful community filled with lovers of plants.