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Mary’s Message: Growing with the Garden Club

Dear Residents, Families and Friends,

What comes to mind as we begin the summer season is perseverance and new growth. This unique time has called for all of us to persevere through new challenges and adapt our ways of thinking and problem-solving skills. As a result, through the ups and downs, we have grown as individuals, as well as a community and family. I want to share with you a wonderful story about perseverance and new growth here at Kensington Park.

Back in February, our Kensington Club Coordinator Kyoko and volunteer Sandy kicked off the KP Garden Club with 10 residents from across campus. The group met inside at the Woodlands (it was too cold for outdoor gardening). They began with seed starter kits, planting tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, hot peppers, bell peppers, watermelon, green beans and herbs. Each resident had their own notebook to record and sketch their observations. They hand-painted lovely wooden signs to mark different fruits and vegetables. Residents were so pleased as their seedlings grew quickly and were looking forward to getting their hands dirty outside. As the weather began to warm up, the quarantine restricted the group from meeting as a team, but the Garden Club persevered!

Kyoko and Sandy chatted on the phone about how to keep things going. Then Kyoko began one-on-one work in the garden with residents, carefully transplanting the seeds outdoors. What a journey it has been since then! They’ve dealt with disappointing frosts that ruined some vegetables and even a mystery muncher (possibly a deer) who’s been helping himself. They’ve tried tricks to keep the deer away including bars of soap, but that got eaten too! Despite the setbacks, they’ve enjoyed learning together and bonding out in the sun. They plan to give the fruits and vegetables to Chef Morissa so that she can incorporate them into our menu. We can’t wait for the first harvest!

We have loved welcoming you back on campus for your front porch visits. With the summer ahead, we’ll continue to grow together, learning as we go and adapting to a “new normal.” We’ll all be stronger because of it.

Warmly, Mary