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Seeds of cheer

This grounds crew covers Maris Grove in color year-round

Created date

April 29th, 2019
It's springtime and Maris Grove is awash in color throughout the community, starting with plantings and budding trees at the front gate entrance.

It's springtime and Maris Grove is awash in color throughout the community, starting with plantings and budding trees at the front gate entrance.

May is a beautiful time to visit Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa.

Spring cleanup is complete and several tractor-trailer loads of mulch have been applied. The 87-acre campus is abloom with spring bulbs; red, pink, and white dogwoods; and fragrant rhododendrons.

Maris Grove’s grounds crew works throughout the year to maintain the community as a natural, wooded environment enhanced by cultivated floral beauty. Planting continues till December.

Community members out for a stroll or hike enjoy stopping and chatting with the grounds crew about the care and feeding of individual plants and other growing things around campus.

Colorful choices

When the grounds crew adds new plants, they select for season-spanning color, resiliency, efficiency, and cost.

For years now, they’ve pulled up spent daffodil bulbs, tossed them into holes across the campus, and forgotten about them.

One of those places is the hillside across from Brinton Clubhouse; it’s now awash with daffodils. The same result is on display within the woodland glades that make Maris Grove such a peaceful haven.

Front-gate plantings illustrate the crew’s efficiency in action. When fall frost is imminent, they pull out summer annuals, dig eight-inch-deep holes, and add three plants atop one another. A late-spring bulb goes in first, then a mid-season bulb, then a pansy. The pansy blooms in fall and in early spring before making way for the bulbs.

Tranquility Garden

The grounds crew is really proud of their landscape project, the aptly named Tranquility Garden. It’s located near Brinton Clubhouse, nestled into the hillside of an undisturbed wooded area.

Wrapped by a retaining wall, the garden’s bluestone patio features a central boulder that’s a fire pit.

To keep the focus on the woods, the crew planted native trees, shrubs, flowers, and ground covers and put in perennials rather than showy annuals.

Now everyone can benefit from a quiet place outdoors to sit and recharge.

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