Gardening Offers Hope in Retirement to Active Virginia Man

Gardening offers a wonderful opportunity to get away from everyday troubles, letting the mind wander, getting the hands dirty in fresh earth. And it doesn't have to be a large garden. Any size will do.

Mr. Kelly Burgess, a resident in the Virginia-based assisted living unit at Lake Prince Woods continuing care retirement community (CCRC), attests to gardening’s life-enriching values. Raised on a farm, and through homespun handy craftsmanship, he utilizes a small garden patch on the residence to grow an abundance of fruits and vegetables including strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.

Also, the crafty gardener is prevailing against his arch nemesis - rabbits. A fence built with his own hands is warding off the furry foes. His secret defence is to spread cayenne pepper on the ground.

Psychologists acknowledge that working in a garden helps to lower stress and make life much healthier. It helps people stay physically active within an established time frame and is beneficial for retired people who lack the familiar structure of the working day. Gardening is an excellent recreational resource in continuing care communities because residents with limited mobility can participate – and there's always the fresh air. Case in point – Kelly Burgess.