Juana Martinez recalls the flowers and soil of the gardens she lovingly tended in her native Dominican Republic, and it inspires her. In her bright and sunny room at Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, she is surrounded by plants of every description.
“I grow them all from cuttings. And when they’re ready for planting, I put my hands in a big bowl of moist earth, without gloves of course, because I love the feel.”
Juana originally came to Margaret Tietz for short-term rehab, but after it was completed she decided she did not want to move back to her own apartment.
“I told my son that I preferred to stay here…I have a beautiful private room with a large window.
Her pleasure and fulfillment at bringing new life to bloom in her very own room is heightened by the response she gets from others at Margaret Tietz.
“As the plants begin to grow and flower, many of the staff stop by to visit, smile at me, and then point to one of my plants and say, ‘can you grow one for me?’"
“And of course, I do.”