Community in the Manor Garden

Please enjoy this article written by resident, Pat, Manor Garden Manager.

You do not have to give up gardening when you move to Givens Estates.  I have been in the same gardening spot for twelve of the thirteen years I have lived at Givens.  Each year there is a new group joining me but this year is the best yet.

In the early spring, residents are invited to sign-up for a garden plot at either our raised beds near the Greenhouse or the Manor Garden.   For me, the Manor Garden plots represent a gardening preference for those who want to be more involved with gardening as we have known it; which means we must mark off the plots ourselves dividing the area among the residents who want to plant there.  Next, we prepare our beds with the tillers some of us own and kept when we made our move to Givens.  We mulch and weed and plant and water and work together to assist each other as we await the fruits of our labors.

We are a diverse group of gardeners who share knowledge from our experiences about what works or doesn’t work.

This year, thanks to Ron, a forester who moved to Givens from a farm, we decided to plant some corn and okra which we would share at harvest.  Ron has been most helpful with his tiller and his watchful eye for the critters who sometimes think the garden belongs to them.  He patches the holes in our fencing and helps secure plants with extra cages.

Susan is a new Manor gardener who with her Choctaw heritage has planted a native garden with seeds she has saved over the years of her gardening adventures.  Susan has shared some ways she learned to prevent tomato blight which is always a threat to our ever so precious tomato crops.

Barbara contacted us early to make sure when she and her husband arrived from Alabama there would be a garden plot for her.  Barbara wanted to grow flowers and tomatoes.  She wins the prize this year for the first ripe tomato in the Manor garden.  Her flowers are like a floral bouquet in the garden.

Patsy Hope was going to grow sunflowers along with other flowering plants.  She has grown the tallest sunflowers we have ever seen and we are anxiously awaiting their blooms.  She also has the only acorn squash plants which are producing her crop for the fall harvest.  Patsy H. planted nasturtiums which she declared would keep away our rabbit friends.

Karen agreed to share her plot with new residents Donna and Jack.  As most new to the Manor Gardens discover, weeds must be controlled.  Even though they have struggled with the weeds, they have proven their efforts are paying off with produce and they are enjoying their experience of this community of gardeners.

Because I have been a Manor Gardner for the longest period, they gave me the title of Manor Garden Manager which means each year I welcome new gardeners and communicate with the Grounds Team when we need mulch or some weed eating around the perimeter of the garden.

Ours is a community within the Givens community forming friendships and sharing our love of working in the dirt.  We also share our produce throughout the campus with friends and neighbors which delights residents who receive the squash, cucumbers, peppers, beans, tomatoes, flower bouquets  and lettuce, radishes and anything else that we can grow.