BARRY’S BAY – Two gardening projects got an extra boost from local Girl Guides as they worked side by side with members of the Madawaska Valley Horticultural Society. One project, located behind the apartments on Stafford Street, is described as a reflective garden. It is a simple project that brings together several generations and provides them with benefits unique to their state in life.
Christine Yuill from Home Support also helped to plant the garden. She explained that the garden was intended to be a quiet place where residents of the apartment complex could come and remember those who are no longer around. It is also a place to reflect in a relaxing outdoor environment. As people adapt to aging, one of the challenges faced is the need to cope with the loss of friends and family members who have moved away, or have died. Having an accessible place to visit and reflect on the memories of those no longer here allows seniors to keep alive treasured memories.
A garden’s cyclical nature of growth, decay and rebirth is a fitting space in which to ponder death and the meaning of life. When that garden has been planted with the help of young people, the thoughts pondered there may become not only about those generations who have come and gone, but also about those generations just starting out, and the ones yet to come.
Gardening’s ability to reframe thoughts is not its only benefit; in fact, gardening may increase health and lifespan. Reporting on research presented in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Science Daily states “…gardening can cut the risk of a heart attack/stroke and prolong life by as much as 30 per cent among the 60+ age group.”
Pick up a copy of the July 10 Valley Gazette for the complete story, or subscribe online.