Poulsbo Garden Club sale helps grow more than plants

POULSBO — Three years ago, Madeline West dreamed of a garden for Alzheimer’s patients at Liberty Shores and Harbor House.

Today, West and the staff at the center have created not one, but three, growing areas where residents can sit under fruit trees, pick fruits and veggies and even get their hands dirty. While there’s still much to be done, West said the project has already accomplished one large goal.

“We’re trying to make it so for the residents, it’s more like a home than an institution,” she explained of the project. “Gardening is a wonderful therapy.”

Now, the retirement center’s garden space will get another boost as one of this year’s recipients of a community grant from the Poulsbo Garden Club. The club has been giving the grants, which are fueled by its annual garden sale, since 2003.

For Liberty Shores, a $200 award will allow staff to add a table and four chairs, two strawberry planters and two raised planter areas to a small, second-floor outdoor area sometime next month. Since beginning the garden project in 2001, an extensive amount of work has taken place in the first-floor garden but West said the second and third floors were in need of help. The Poulsbo Garden Club Grant, she said, is assisting Liberty Shores staff in providing a better quality of life for their patients.

“When the weather is nice, people are out there all day, every day, rain or shine,” she commented.

Once again, the North Kitsap community has the opportunity to help the Poulsbo Garden Club’s grants continue. Its next garden sale will be taking place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 7 at the Bad Blanche Northwest Design Center at the corner of State Route 305 and Hostmark Street.

Plants for sale at the event come straight out of local garden club members’ own yards. Over the past several weeks, the club has been gathering and packaging the plants for sale.

“So you’ve got plants that do well in our area and they’ve been well taken care of and they’re at a great price,” club member Nancy Neff said.

The club will be on hand at the May 7 event to give community members information on individual plants and advice on the right plants for the right yard.

The sale will also feature vendors with a variety of garden-related items including rustic furniture and metal garden sculptures.

All of the event’s proceeds go back into the community in the form of grants and scholarships. A local Boy Scout, whose Eagle Scout project will landscape the stormwater retention pond next to the Poulsbo library, also received a garden club grant this year. In addition, the club recently provided a scholarship to a local woman who is participating in the horticulture program at Edmonds Community College.

“It’s a wonderful group and they’re just active and working in the community,” Neff said of the garden club’s work.

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