By Bethany Mccammon Tap
Spring is finally here. You can smell it in the air and see it in the budding flowers and greening grass. You can feel it on the warm breeze, in the light rain, and in the glorious sunshine. The equinox has passed and it’s official: gardening season is here!
With April being Lawn and Garden Month, you may find your green thumb itching to get flowers growing. But if you’re in a northern climate, you may still find it too early to get planting. So, if you’re thinking of relocating for retirement, you’ll want to be sure to find both a climate and community that fosters your love of gardening.
Many retirement communities feature community gardens as one of their prime amenities. Whether you’re looking at Florida communities such as Del Webb Ponte Vedra, with its Garden Club and Central Park area with resident garden, or North Carolina with off-the-beaten-path communities like River Landing in Wallace, there are plenty of communities that focus on the beauty and wonder of growing things.
Some communities are highly devoted to both planting and sustainability. Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community, located in Asheville, North Carolina, is surrounded by more than 600 acres of “forever-wild” mountains, cliffs, and waterfalls. This community is focused on sustainability and features an organic community garden that includes a vineyard, herb circle, greenhouse, and apple orchard. Imagine the possibilities!
Other communities, such as Hot Springs Village in Arkansas, have community gardens as well as community fresh-air markets. At these fresh-air markets, residents can sell their harvests and enjoy the harvests of their fellow gardeners. It’s a rewarding experience to move beyond growing a garden, to sharing your harvest with others.
In Georgia, you’ll find that community gardens thrive in WaterWays Township, with its 10′ x 10′ plots available for residents. Plots are maintained year-round and are pesticide and fertilizer free. There are 72 plots available for residents to grow vegetables, flowers, and/or herbs. What a wonderful way to interact with fellow gardeners!
Near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jasper Highlands is located on the Cumberland Plateau and overlooks the Tennessee River Valley. Because the homesteads here are large in acreage (up to 8.34 acres), there is plenty of room for a mini-farm or large garden.
It doesn’t matter if you move all the way to Florida or only as far as Tennessee, there will be a patch of land waiting for you to bring it to life. Whether your focus is sustainability and growing your own food, or you simply love the beauty and elegance of an iris, there’s a place for you. Isn’t it time to experience the joy, relaxation, and sustenance of growing your own flowers, vegetables, and herbs? Get planting! Get growing!