PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

April 3, 2014

Groves seniors learn gardening tips

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

GROVES — The joy of gardening can be appreciated by people of all ages, just ask  Jeanene Ebeling.

Ebeling, horticulture program assistant with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, met with upwards of 20 people at the Groves Public Library during an Adult Life Enrichment Series regarding gardening tips for seniors on Thursday.

Gilbert and Vera Lege of Groves went from the Groves Senior Citizens Center where they had lunch to the library across the street to learn helpful hints. The Lege’s have amaryllis flowers and bluebonnets plus some vegetables as well.

“I always have my Texas A&M jalapeno,” Gilbert Lege said with a smile. “They’re mild.”

Pat Donnelly, who took home a basil grow kit as a door prize at the event, was pleased with the seminar.

“I loved it,” Donnelly said about the event.

Donnelly enjoys gardening and said she’s like to see more seminars such as the one of Thursday that deal with specifics on gardening and other topics.

Ebeling told the group that gardening enriches people physically, mentally and spiritually and increases a person’s physical activity.

And while aging can cause diminished physical strength due to arthritis or limited mobility there are still ways to enjoy gardening such as : gardening in five and 10 minute increments and work your way up to 30 minute increments if possible, utilizing an “enabling” garden which is elevated with raised bed so the gardener doesn’t have to bend over and using hanging plants and window sill herb gardens.

Vertical gardens such as growing beans and cucumbers along a fence or chicken coop wire is also a way for people to enjoy gardening and make sure you have a place to sit and rest if needed.

“If you can go and sit in the shade and check your plants you’re more likely to do that,” Ebeling said. “Plus you can avoid constant stooping and squatting.”

Gardening in the early morning or afternoon is a good way to avoid the heat of the day and she advised the group to wear lightweight comfortable clothing.

For more information on gardening or other such topics contact the AgriLife office at 1225 Pearl St., Suite 200 in Beaumont or call 835-8461.

The library’s Adult Life Enrichment Series will continue with The Art of Making Cheese on April 9. The class is limited to 20 participants.

Thursday, May 8 and 9 is a two-part class on Making Coiled Basketry and requires a $5 donation for material costs. Only 10 to 12 students will be scheduled.

Thursday, May 15 will be The Art of Making Wine.

For more information about the classes, call the library at 962-6281.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews