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Photos: Senior Condo Owners Create Gardens At The Ridge at Elm

Last month, the women took more than 50 people on a walk through the gardens.

A group of retired women have spent the last few years building a garden behind their condominium complex, and this week they invited Patch down to view their creation. 

About five years ago, the women who live at The Ridge at Elm wanted to beautify their neighborhood. With a little help form their husbands, they started removing Poison Ivy, weeds and brush behind their homes, so they could build their own gardens on the condo complex property.

"We cleared everything," said Jeanne Schumann on Monday afternoon.

The ladies said they designed the gardens themselves and used common household items and antiques to bring out the true beauty of the flowers. One husband even built bird houses for one section of the garden.

"We used to work and now we do gardens," said Elenor Whalen.

Elaine Paladino agreed with her fellow gardener.

"This is relaxation time," she said. "It is therapy."

Each of the gardens has a different style and embodies the character of the woman who lives in front of it. Paladino said she for example has more of "an English garden" with day lilies and perennials.  

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"We had to finish what the builder started," she said. "The builder built the house and we built the gardens."

On June 14, the women held their second annual garden walk where people from the surrounding area visited the gardens. More than 50 people turned out for the event and enjoyed an easy walk through the gardens. The women said people still visit the gardens and they encourage residents, without dogs, to view their hard work.   

"It is the labor of love," Schumann said.

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Susan Gagnon July 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I would like to visit the gardens but I don't know where the Ridge at Elm condos are. Please give me an address. Thank you!
Jeanne Schumann July 21, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Hi Susan! We would love to have you visit our gardens! Our condos are located the end of Elm Street Extension...if you make a left out of The Big Y, go straight up the hill at the light. I live at 27 Dogwood Ct and our gardens are in the backyards of our wood lines...about 6-7 homes total. Perhaps you know Eleanor Whalen, Alice Cronin, Elma Rioux or Elaine Paladino (our backyard neighbor)....we all "independently" worked as a group. My phone # is 860 436-2260 if you'd like to walk though..or call any of the other girls...or just stop by and ring our doorbells! Thanks for you interest! jeanne schumann
lois Stefano July 22, 2012 at 08:51 PM
The afternoon was just a delight. I felt I was in a dream with all the beautiful flowers and articles placed in interesting,hidden places, even a recording of chirping birds in the gardens. loved it and so proud of our "garden club ladies" thank you so much for another neighborhood event. Lois Stefano

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