A flutter with colour
In a quaint courtyard outside of Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care (Mount Hope) lies an oasis of flowers, gardening tools, watering cans – and the occasional fluttering butterfly.
The garden, named the Butterfly Garden, is a recently renovated outdoor space that gives Mount Hope residents the opportunity to participate in recreational gardening activities such as planting and watering flowers. It’s also a bright, peaceful and accessible spot for residents to enjoy visits with family and friends.
“It’s a great place for our residents to enjoy with their families, get their hands dirty and socialize with loved ones,” says Shelby Oxford, therapeutic recreation aide at Mount Hope.
Made possible through the support of St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation and community donors, the revamped garden was designed for wheelchair accessibility and to incorporate additional seating areas and overhead rain and shade structures.
Currently, about 20 residents are participating in the garden activities, which have been positively received by residents and families.
“Gardening provides physical activity for the residents, but also allows them to connect with others who share a similar passion for gardening and nature,” explains Shelby.
Residents like Ilse Blum and her family enjoy the garden for the beauty and joy it brings while visiting.
“It is so beautiful. There are so many colours. It is so nice to be outside,” says IIse.
During the garden’s construction, residents weighed in on elements of the re-design, including the selection of new chairs, tables and shade structures. Many of the flowers for the garden were chosen to attract butterflies to space.
“It’s a been great to watch our residents take part in the therapeutic activities, which also gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment as they see the flowers and herbs they planted start to bloom and grow,” says Morgan Hoffarth, Director of Care at Mount Hope. “We are very fortunate to have this unique and beautiful space to enjoy.”