DEARBORN — This year’s long winter and late spring did not keep residents from working in the gardens and campus grounds of Beaumont Commons, Dearborn.
Phil Button, president of Beaumont Commons Resident Association and chair of the Grounds/Wildlife Committee, said the gardens are a source of excitement and enthusiasm.
In May, scouts from BSA Troop 1104 and Cub Scouts from Pack 1112 volunteered to help build raised beds for residents to make gardening easier.
“We have a wide variety of flowers, vegetables and herbs growing in our individual and shared garden plots,” said Button, who listed tomatoes, green beans, squash, beets, pumpkins, peppers and cabbages among the produce. “Residents’ families also enjoy coming to help. One of the gardeners is even planning to make sauerkraut from the cabbage.”
In addition to several garden plots, the campus includes Japanese gardens, individual patio and balcony gardens, and lush vegetation along scenic walking paths.
After resident Mary Ann Bassett moved from her lake home in Belleville two years ago, she told one of the staff how much she missed her gardens. The staff assured her that this was her home now, and she was welcome to help tend the gardens.
Instead of selecting a garden plot, Bassett focused on helping to weed and trim the Japanese gardens, hydrangeas and pine trees.
“For me, it’s not work,” she said. “I love being outside.”
Although not a master gardener, Bassett keeps a catalog of more than 100 varieties of hydrangeas, studies their soil conditions, and knows what to feed them to produce the blue, pink and white blossoms.
For residents who don’t venture outdoors, Bassett will cut some of the hydrangeas and place them in vases for everyone to enjoy.
“They’re surprised to learn we have such beautiful flowers on our campus, and I tell them to just go outside,” she said.
“We like to encourage families to visit and help in the gardens,” said Button, who is often accompanied by his dogs on the walking paths. “People get a big kick out of seeing everything that’s growing.”