Country Life Assisted Living Center Garden Comes to Life
This summer Golden Years Gardening, with the help of many volunteers, spent a great deal of time installing a new garden at Country Life Assisted Living in Montana City, Montana. The garden was installed just off a patio near the door leading to the facility's kitchen, allowing residents and kitchen staff easy access to the garden.
Installation first required the removal of a lot of turf, as the garden area was completely covered with and surrounded by lawn. Once the turf had been cut, rolled and hauled off for use elsewhere, we discovered that the ground where the garden was to be installed was comprised largely of dense, heavy clay...suitable mostly for a nice tennis court. Hence, with help from family and friends, a Bobcat tractor was employed to remove several cubic yards of clay topsoil, which allowed us at the same time to level the lawn area where the garden would go.
Removal of the clay topsoil left a small edge that would require a retaining wall to keep soil from falling into the garden. The owners of the facility generously donated well over a hundred 65# landscaping bricks for us to use in building the retaining wall. In order that the residents would easily be able to access the garden area, we decided to purchase additional landscaping bricks to create two separate, large ovals that would act as low raised beds for the garden. In all, about 9 tons of landscaping bricks were laid to build the two gardening areas.
Once the gardening areas had been built, fresh topsoil was purchased and trucked in from a nearby storage area and hand shoveled into place in the two gardening ovals.
Hats off to Spieker Sprinkling Systems of Helena, Montana for working with our organization to re-design the lawn's original underground sprinkling system to accommodate automated watering for the garden.
Once the garden had been installed and planted, final touches included installation of deer fencing to surround the entire garden and lawn area on the northwest side of the facility, to include a new visitor's gate and a separate, larger gate that can be used to access the garden, with pickup trucks if needed. Finally, two raised bed flower gardens were built and located adjacent to the patio area providing ready access for the facility's residents.
We wish to thank all of the family, friends, and volunteers who worked diligently over the course of many weeks to make this garden happen. We could not have done it without your help!
Click on the slideshow below to follow the progress of installing this garden.