History of Springfield Garden Club's Adult Day Care Project
In September of 2001, members of the Springfield Garden Club were approached and asked if they could support the efforts of Springfield Hospital’s Adult Day Care Center to provide an ongoing activity of value for the clients of the Center. The plan was for both flowers and vegetables to be planted in containers that could be easily accessed by both wheelchair and ambulatory clients throughout the growing season. Garden Club members worked with the staff to plan and prepare the containers. Planting then took place with client assistance. Shared story-telling brought enjoyment to both members and clients.
Each year begins with the purchase of an average of ninety pots, plus soil and soil amendments such as long-acting fertilizer. Planters include six large pots and six hanging baskets plus two 2' x 5' standing planters and two on the ground. By noon of the workday, the pergola is swept up, flowers pinched back and watered.
Clients, with the help of the staff, will take care of watering and training the vines to grow up the trellis. Garden Club members stop in occasionally to pinch back and evaluate the success of the year’s plantings. The center’s director makes sure that all clients get to help with the planting, deadheading, weeding, clipping, and with the eating of the fresh vegetables throughout the summer.
The garden club was instrumental in the building of the pergola as well. Funds from a grant were received by the Adult Day Care Center director to build the pergola and start the garden along with generous donations of materials and sawmill work by a garden club member’s husband. The Springfield High School’s building trades class built the pergola and moved it into place at the center.
Garden Club members have reported that the clients love “Planting Day”! This garden area is a relaxing oasis that has provided needed respite for both staff and clients for almost twenty years.