102 years among the roses

102 years among the roses.

Photo: 102 years among the roses.

Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow? Queensland’s Nundah resident Mary Black will tell you her’s flourished through tender loving care – as has her long life.

“I had a lovely garden in Scotland and was very fond of roses. Gardening is trial and error and is about finding the correct spots for plants. 

“I like flowers especially daisies, buttercups and of course heather.”

Ms Black will celebrate her 102nd birthday this month and her advice to younger generations is to “always be honest and straight up about all things and be kind to all people,” she says, adding “always be busy and active”.

To help keep the spring in her step, Zion Lutheran Home volunteer Shawn Plettell (pictured with Ms Black) planted tulips, daffodils and a range of perennials on Ms Black’s balcony to blossom into beautiful blooms.

Mr Plettell said the aim of the garden was to add a splash of colour and happiness to Ms Black’s life.

“It’s good for someone to have something to care for like plants and it’s relaxing as well.

“Many older Australians love gardening and this brings something they are passionate about back into their life. Green environments are calming and bring back memories,” he said.

Mr Plettell, who has volunteered at Zion twice a week since last November, also used his green thumb, permaculture and horticulture experience to create a vegetable garden for residents.  

“We have grown strawberries, cherry tomatoes and herbs like mint and chives,” he said.

“The residents come alive outside, doing things they like to do and share things about their lives; for example one lady made jams with home grown fruit.

“Everyone has things to share that other people need and are beneficial to their lives.

“People like Ms Black are inspiring, they have lived such a long time and I can learn things from them about how to live a happy life.”

Zion Lutheran Home general manager, Maria Mulheran, said it was important for older Australians to experience meaningful and fulfilling lives at the aged care service.

“Gardening is one way residents can express their personal interests [and find] peace and serenity in the natural environment,” she said.

Do you know someone who is a centenarian? DPS News may write a story about them. Send us your suggestions below.