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Secret garden flourishes at Cadbury at Lewes

Enjoying the Safe Harbor garden at Cadbury are (l-r) Helen Ballard, Brent Marsh and Sarah Marsh. SOURCE SUBMITTED
July 4, 2013

“The Secret Garden,” a children's story, described a garden behind walls. There’s also a garden behind walls at Safe Harbor, part of the Cadbury at Lewes Continuing Care Retirement Community. But this garden is not a secret.

The garden was constructed when Cadbury was built in 2007. The walkway in the small garden, which is totally wheelchair accessible, has four loops, each around a central feature. The first loop circles a birch tree with peeling bark. There are holly trees, a maple, and various shrubs and border plants, too.

The Cadbury grounds crew expertly maintains the garden, trimming the grass precisely. Earlier this year the tulips and daffodils bloomed, proving that spring had arrived. And a small strawberry patch delighted residents recently when the fruit was ready. Next up are the day lilies and black-eyed Susans, flowers of summer.

There are some new plants in the garden too. Master Gardener volunteer Brent Marsh has added marigolds along one of the walkways and a whole new native plants garden. “We’ve got coreopsis, tickseed, coneflower and butterfly milkweed. If we can attract some black swallowtail butterflies for the nectar in the flowers, they’ll lay eggs in the parsley and we’ll have caterpillars too,” he said. Master Gardeners are specially trained volunteers from the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Cooperative Extension Service.

But it’s not just flowers, shrubs and trees in the garden. There are vegetables too. “We’re growing seven kinds of tomatoes, from little cherry and grape tomatoes up to beefsteaks,” says Marsh. Residents and staff are eagerly awaiting these tomatoes. There are also two kinds of sweet peppers.

Many residents of Cadbury have had flower and vegetable gardens in the past. Standing in the garden with dirty hands and muddy pants, Marsh said, “Cadbury is such a nurturing place. This garden is just a part of that. Residents can enjoy the garden for its quiet beauty, for its colors, for the tomatoes that are coming or just for the fresh air. And all of this may bring back memories for those whose memories are fading. That’s reason enough for this garden.”

Cadbury at Lewes is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community that offers seniors independence, safety, financial security and access to all levels of healthcare. The Tides Assisted Living Community features private or semiprivate apartments, delicious meals and compassionate care with services such as bathing, dressing or medication management. An activities calendar includes fitness, arts & crafts, musical entertainment and much more. In the Quaker tradition, Cadbury at Lewes respects the dignity of each individual, while nurturing independence and encouraging the highest possible quality of life.

For more information go to www.cadburylewes.org.