While all of Life’s WORC residences boast beautiful landscaping, one of our Queens homes stands out, courtesy of resident gardener Madeline.
“I have plants in my bedroom, and I have a green thumb,” Madeline says. “When I first came here, we decided to grow a garden.”
What began as an annual spring outing with Life’s WORC staff to pick flowers for the landscaping turned into a real passion and talent for Madeline. “They would pick me up from home and we went shopping for the things I use for the garden,” she explains. “The first year I set it up I did everything, and now I do it every year.”
“She is very outspoken and will tell you what she wants,” says Stephanie Richardson, who is the Manager at Madeline’s home and has worked with her for the past 21 years. “I help her with the garden every year. We started just working around the yard putting flowers in different places. Now she grows flowers and plants every year.”
Madeline has become especially fond of planting vegetables, which she and her housemates enjoy picking and eating. “She notices when people pick the tomatoes,” explains Stephanie. “She takes care of the plants, weeds the garden, and plans her day around the watering schedule. It keeps her focused and relaxes her mind.”
Planning for the 2021 garden is already underway. “We want to do it earlier,” Madeline says. “May is no good because the plants don’t come up right. We use plants and not seeds. I like putting them in the dirt and taking care of them.” Madeline and Stephanie plan to plant a wide variety of vegetables – tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers and more – as well as flowers and other plants that help serve as natural insect repellants. In the past they tried to grow watermelon and corn and a few other new additions, but those were less successful.
“We do good,” Madeline says of their harvest. Of course, its benefits reach beyond the vegetables that make it to the dinner table. “I feel good when I do my garden.”
We look forward to seeing what Madeline grows this year!
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Life’s WORC, we will be sharing the stories, people and events that have made Life’s WORC the organization it is today, along with our goals and vision for the future. Thank you for celebrating with us!