Gardening Know How Sponsorship Recipient: Summerloch Green Community Garden

This year, Gardening Know How's School and Community Garden Sponsorship Program was fortunate enough to help support 20 gardens with $1,000 each. These gardens represent a wide array of community and school programs, from Florida to Saskatchewan and many places in between. Each has its own unique and powerful story, and we're excited to share them with you. Every other week we'll highlight one of our sponsorship recipients to help spread the word about how amazing they really are. This week we're featuring the Summerloch Green Community Garden.

Summerloch Green is a small retirement community in Casselberry, Florida, a city of about 26,000 people. While the community has several recreational activities, it's always gone without a garden. And with a large number of its residents living on social security checks alone, fresh produce hasn't always been at the forefront in everyone's kitchens.

That's going to change this year, however, as the Summerloch Green Community Garden breaks ground in its first season of operation.

The brand new garden board has been given a given a piece of land by the community, and as we speak, it is being leveled and graded to create a "blank canvas where we expect to create a masterpiece," according to Raymond Simmons, one of the masterminds behind the new garden. Soon the beds will be installed, including several elevated beds specifically designed for the inclusion of elderly and handicapped community members. A few prototypes have already been built.

Prototypes of Elevated Beds

Once the beds are in place, it'll be time for planting under the supervision of a resident Master Gardener. The planting will begin with vegetables and herbs that will be donated to the community's food bank, a service so many residents rely upon. Since Casselberry is located in central Florida, it's gifted with a near year-long growing season and will be able to provide fresh produce the whole year through.

Raymond also has plans to add a sensory garden, "so people may enjoy the sight, taste, feel and smell of select plants."

With the grant from Gardening Know How, the Summerloch Green Community Garden will be bringing its residents fresh local food and giving them a place to get in touch with nature and put their hands in the dirt. We're proud to be able to help them realize this dream.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.