A great day of highly appreciated counsel and advice.
Last Thursday was planting day at Cerenity Marian of St. Paul. Cerenity Marian is a Life Plan Community, also known as a continuing care retirement community, in east St. Paul offering all levels of care and housing. Tenants enjoy the beautifully landscaped enclosed courtyard during the beautiful warmer seasons. RCMG volunteers, Deb O'Halloran, Jane Carlstrom, and DeAnn Strenke helped residents with some hands-on gardening.
The volunteer team worked on researching plant selections, planning landscape design, and planting with the residents. They made sure there was time to educate the facility staff and the residents who help care for garden about how to plant and care for their new garden. The research and planning took many hours as there were many requirements. The RCMG volunteers recommended a soil test for the new garden beds, which proved invaluable (the soil is very alkaline, which affected the plant selection) and highly educational to all of them.
Garden Care Guide
The volunteer team is developing a simple post-care guide for them to follow. It’s similar to what RCMG recommended for Habitat for Humanity projects, as non-gardeners don’t recall what, when or why to do simple tasks 6-12 months later.
There are another two sections of this non-profit senior care facility that would love to have RCMG volunteers help with garden planning over winter for planting next year. Deb O'Halloran and DeAnn Strenke have offered to lead any efforts. Cerenity Marian staff had no idea about U of M Extension resources like the Master Gardeners or the role that Master Gardener volunteers in community.
Contact Deb to get involved.