It has been said that gardens have unique healing powers. The combination of the beautiful colors, the sweet smells and the sounds of nature create a tranquil environment that heals any ailment. The AutumnGrove gardens not only contain this sense of peacefulness, but they also store millions of memories.
The love for a beautiful yard or fruitful garden is a focal point in the life of many seniors and it is no different for our residents. Many hours are spent there picking flowers, watering plants, and enjoying the wildlife from the back porch rocking chairs. When the first AutumnGrove was opened in Copperfield, a suburb of Houston, Tim, a landscape artist, took a personal interest in the design and elements of the garden. He envisioned a place that his own grandmother would love. He selected flowers with lots of color to be eye catching but would attract the least amount of insects. He ensured they were edible for the safety of the resident. He went above and beyond in creating a sanctuary for the benefit of our future residents. As a symbol of our gratitude we named our very first garden after Tim’s grandmother, Alice. That started what has become a tradition of dedicating each new cottage garden to a resident that has left a lasting impression among their managers, caregivers and families.
We loved the idea of preserving someone’s memory in the beauty of a garden as a great reminder of the joy and splendor that past residents shared with the staff and families. Paul and Nina, were long time Houston residents that had been married many years. They may not have had any children, but they had an amazing love for each other. For many years Paul was able to safely care for Nina in their home in spite of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. When Paul knew he could no longer provide the care and safe environment Nina needed, he made the tough decision to seek help. We were blessed that he entrusted us to help provide that care for Nina as our very first resident at the Heights cottage in Houston. Not only did we get a wonderful resident in Nina we experienced a wonderful example of companionship from Paul. He spent hours with Nina at the cottage coming 2 or 3 times everyday. If you were to visit the cottage today you would find a coffee mug just for Mr. Paul. Although, Mrs. Nina has gone to meet her maker, there will always be a place at the table for Mr. Paul and a loving memory of Mrs. Nina.
Even though the gardens vary in size and style, they all portray the love that was present between the staff and the resident who it is named after. While this is only one story there are many more just as special. Many of the honorees were some of the first residents who lived at the different cottages and played a special role in the start of a new AutumnGrove family at each location.