Members of the Bittersweet Garden Club again visited Primrose Retirement Community, where they worked with residents to make teacup succulents. The gardening group hosts a variety of workshops at area retirement communities. (Julie Smith/News Tribune)
Residents of Primrose Retirement Community “planted” low-maintenance succulents in teacups Monday afternoon.
They concentrated on pinning the artificial plants in small plastic foam bases inside the cups before pouring in a little soil around the plants so they looked realistic.
The activity allowed seniors to concentrate on tasks and manipulate tiny objects in their fingers — things like little ceramic mushrooms.
For about three years, members of the Bittersweet Garden Club have visited Primrose and other retirement communities, and offered activities for the residents, said Tina Spillers, chairman of garden therapy.
“These guys — they just love it. It’s just fun,” Spillers said. “They find that doing things like this helps them with coordination, cognitive abilities and their mood.”
The folks at Primrose ask when the club members will return,
Club volunteers like to let the residents have as much control over their projects as possible. Volunteers let the residents do as much as they can, but help when it’s necessary.
The club has tried using live succulents, but residents said they prefer artificial because they don’t require maintenance, Spillers said.
The residents get to choose from several varieties of succulent plants and small bangles the club provides, which may be used to enhance the plantings.
Jenetia Gibler sat with and encouraged three friends Monday.
“It’s cute,” she said. “We don’t have to water them. And they won’t ever grow.”
They can spread (when they’re real), she said.
Betty Borman sat with Gibler.
She smiled and said, “It’s beautiful. When my daughter comes to visit me, she’ll want me to give it to her.”
Borman will be glad she doesn’t have to water it, Sandy Spalding said.
“It’s so nice that the Bittersweet people come out and do this for us,” Spalding said. “We’ve done painting, We’ve done potpourri. They’re just so kind to us old people.”