Pavilion dedicates garden patch


By Patricia Ann Speelman - [email protected]



Members of the the Pavilion Patch, a garden club of residents at the Pavilion nursing home, look over seedlings that they will plant in the club’s new, raised garden beds. They are, left to right, Charles Mast, George Heatherly and Alice Boyer, all Pavilion residents, and Connie Dixon, of Sidney, a Master Gardener who has assisted with the project.

Members of the the Pavilion Patch, a garden club of residents at the Pavilion nursing home, look over seedlings that they will plant in the club’s new, raised garden beds. They are, left to right, Charles Mast, George Heatherly and Alice Boyer, all Pavilion residents, and Connie Dixon, of Sidney, a Master Gardener who has assisted with the project.


SIDNEY — There’s a new garden club in town and its 10 members are residents of the Pavilion, a nursing home at 705 Fulton St.

Residents, staff and volunteers gathered Friday to dedicate four 7-foot by 2-foot raised beds created by the facility’s maintenance director, Dan Hamilton.

“Two are 26 inches high and 2 are 39 inches high, so they’re wheelchair accessible,” Hamilton said.

The senior citizen gardeners are excited about their new activity. Many of them had plots of their own when they lived at home and they had missed the pleasure of tending plants and watching them grow.

Janice Blake, who is going through a physical rehabilitation program at the facility, said she usually puts tomatoes, onions and potatoes in her backyard garden in Quincy.

“I got interested in doing all this (here),” she said.

The Pavilion Patch, as the garden is called, will be planted with peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions and marigolds. Most of the plants have already been started indoors and will be moved to outside beds after Mother’s Day.

“The cucumbers are tall. You have to be really careful with them,” said Alice Boyer, the club’s oldest member at age 96. She and her husband had large vegetable gardens in Logan County and Boyer volunteered at the Pavilion for several decades before she became a resident. She remembers growing okra in addition to other vegetables.

Lily Cook, originally from Pemberton, said when she was a child, her home garden had too many varities to recall. But she did remember the strawberries, “so we could make jam,” she said with a gleam in her eye.

The patch was Hamilton’s idea. His grandmother, Joanne Covelli, volunteers in the Community Garden at Agape Distribution, and had told Hamilton about the raised beds there.

“How about an above-ground garden?” he asked Pavilion Activities Director and Assistant Karen Swindell. She jumped at the idea. She and her husband farm corn and soybeans and she does container gardening on the patio.

The biggest challenge was finding soil to fill the beds, but Agape donated it and a Master Gardener who oversees the Agape project served as a mentor to the Pavilion club. The Patch is in the facility’s courtyard, also home to birdhouses and the occasional wandering deer or squirrel. Residents enjoy sitting and visiting there.

“It’s about going outdoors and having a new perspective on life. It’s so peaceful,” Swindell said.

To say, “Thank you,” for the soil donation, Pavilion Patch Garden Club members have begun to help Agape by sorting tubs of seed packets that Agape makes available to its clients. The sorting takes place during weekly club meetings. Members also have already begun to tend the starts, as young plants are called. They take turns watering the starts daily. They plan to have a salad bar party with the harvest.

“Whatever we can’t use here, we’ll give to (Agape),” Hamilton said.

Members of the the Pavilion Patch, a garden club of residents at the Pavilion nursing home, look over seedlings that they will plant in the club’s new, raised garden beds. They are, left to right, Charles Mast, George Heatherly and Alice Boyer, all Pavilion residents, and Connie Dixon, of Sidney, a Master Gardener who has assisted with the project.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2016/04/web1_SDN043016PavilionPatch.jpgMembers of the the Pavilion Patch, a garden club of residents at the Pavilion nursing home, look over seedlings that they will plant in the club’s new, raised garden beds. They are, left to right, Charles Mast, George Heatherly and Alice Boyer, all Pavilion residents, and Connie Dixon, of Sidney, a Master Gardener who has assisted with the project.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.