What’s Growing On at RiverWoods Durham?


Garden Committee members Dwight, George, and Giovanna

The RiverWoods Durham Garden Committee.

RiverWoods Durham’s Garden Committee was founded by Dwight Baldwin three years ago, who has been gardening for the past 55 years, shortly after he moved in. Dwight was a co-chair of the committee until this year when he passed the torch to Suzy Loder and Giovanna Filippone.

The role of the Garden Committee is to manage the raised garden beds for residents, clean the beds, enforce a few rules, and most importantly, keep everyone happy.  The committee provides organic compost for all the beds. “Good compost means good soil!” The Garden Committee has also been instrumental in labeling the variety of tree species around the campus.

RiverWoods Durham Garden Committee Co-Chair, Giovanna Filippone

Gardens are a way to bring the entire community together.

Herbs grown by residents are often shared with the Culinary Services team for use in preparing meals. Committee members care for the gardens of residents who are away from the community on vacation. Extra seeds and plants are given away or traded between gardeners, which helps reduce waste and allows room for more plants! Tools are shared among residents. In addition, produce grown is shared with the staff and residents.

“We often will see bees, butterflies, and birds, and luckily, wildlife are not a threat to our gardens!” said Giovanna

Dwight continued: “The best thing about gardening at RiverWoods Durham is how much room we have and how the garden beds are so accessible.”

There are more than 50 raised beds for residents to grow all types of things from vegetables to flowers. The sky’s the limit — well, not really. Plants have to remain under four feet tall so as not to block sun from neighboring plots!

Suzy’s favorite tip, “Choose the right location. There is better chance with success.” She then followed up with saying, “I enjoy watching plants grow and harvesting and sharing the results.”

“Everyone who has a bed likes to get their hands in the dirt” Dwight  observed. The Committee believes gardening should be enjoyed by everyone! Dwight said they have surveyed residents to ensure that everyone who wishes to garden can do so.

In addition to outdoor gardening, the Garden Committee hopes to extend gardening opportunities inside, by providing residents with indoor grow lamps next spring.

Ready to learn more about the many gardening opportunities available at RiverWoods Durham? Our Senior Living Counselors would love to give you a tour!

Click here to Schedule a Tour