55 Plus is a publication of the Times Colonist, providing items of interest to seniors and their families across Vancouver Island

3 Things To Do if You Love to Garden

As the weather gets nicer you might begin to miss the gardening.
House plants are wonderful ways to keep up your green thumb

As the weather gets nicer you might begin to miss the gardening, especially if you’ve just made the move to a retirement community. But living in a retirement community doesn’t need to mean the end of working with plants! Below are some easy ways to exercise your green-thumb this summer.

1. Grow a house plant

House plants are wonderful ways to keep up your green thumb when you don’t have the space or mobility to tend a full garden anymore. There are hundreds of different types of houseplants, each thriving in different environments. Here are a few of our favourite house plants that take up little space:

Sansevierias (Snake plants) produce long, sword-shaped leaves that stand completely upright. Its compact shape allows it to work well even in tiny rooms! Its leaves come in many colourful variations and have lovely patterns on them.

Orchids are a favourite for the experienced gardener. With just one or two stalks and a few flowers, these plants are perfect for small areas. They also are beautiful and provide a lovely aroma!

African Violets are tiny and don’t take up much space. They have stunning heart-shaped leaves with purple, pink, and blue flowers that can brighten up any space. African violets thrive in humid and moist environments, so you don’t need to worry about overwatering them.

2. Bird watch

Take a walk through the green areas around your retirement community. Chances are there will be some great spots to sit and bird watch! There are many affordable bird books you can purchase, or you can use a free online source by searching what types of birds are in your area.  You can go outside with a friend and see who can spot the largest variety of birds, making sure to point them out so you both can enjoy their beauty.

3. Germinate seeds

Germinating seeds is a space-friendly activity that can be a lot of fun for those with a green thumb. All you need is whatever seeds you’d like, a resealable zip-top bag and either paper towels, coffee filters, or newsprint.

First, cut your paper so that it fits in the zip-lock bag and wet your paper until it’s damp. After this, place your seeds on the bottom half of the paper, leaving an inch between seeds to give them room to grow! Fold the top half of the paper over the seeds to sandwich them. You will then slide the paper (with seeds) into the bag. Label it with a sharpie marker so that you know what you are watching grow!

We recommend getting some air into the bag using a straw or by pressing your mouth to the opening. Seal the bags up tight! Adding air like this creates a greenhouse effect. You’ll want to place your germinating seeds in a warm area of your suite, but don’t put them anywhere too hot, such as on top of a heater, as you risk cooking the seeds before they ever sprout.

Within a few days you should be able to see some little roots beginning to emerge from your seed! If you don’t, no worries – be patient and enjoy getting to see the intriguing process of germination!

If you’re looking for a senior’s retirement community on Vancouver Island, check out Ross Place or Lakeside Gardens on Vancouver Island. With a warm and friendly environment, experience what an independent seniors community has to offer. Book your tour today! 

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