The Long Hill Garden Club’s Garden Therapy Committee meets monthly with residents of Stern Village which provides affordable housing for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. Garden Therapy is the use of garden related activities as an aid to the recovery and rehabilitation of challenged residents.

In November, residents made floral designs using pumpkins donated by Jones Family Farms. Not only did the residents get to take their arrangements home, some of them also saved the seeds to roast. Other programs included information on herbs with residents seeing, smelling and tasting as members prepared food and drink with various herbs and distributed copies of the recipes. Grapevine wreaths were decorated for fall, a dried flower arrangement was created, pomanders were made and cookie mold bird feeders were made with a lesson on birds. A tuna-can/clothespins planter was built and pansies planted, photos were made using pressed flowers on cards and then framed and designs were caulked onto a clay flower pot. In May residents made corsages and shared a 14 Carat Cake as the club’s 75th anniversary was celebrated.

The program was so successful that a second group was formed. Garden Therapy ELITE works with the Trumbull Public Education System in supporting Educating Learners in Transitional Environments, a community-based vocational experience that fosters functional academics, independent living skills, community access, leisure skills, employability skills training and social skills. The program averages 12 students per year. The goal is to help each student learn hands-on gardening skills by working alongside them. They have planted flowers in several places around Trumbull.