Golf and Gardening…What is the connection?

by Freddi Hoffmann

Bill Davis McLean GardensThey are two of Bill Davis’ passions that he’s happily pursuing while living in the McLean Health Center. Davis grew up in Ireland where his mother had a very large vegetable garden. “It’s easier to grow things there,” Bill explained “because of the rain and the good soil.”

Collette Molar, a member of the McLean Therapeutic Recreation team, learned of Bill’s interests, and offered him his own box in the raised, adaptive garden. Bill can see his plants from the sliding doors in his private room.

Today Bill is working with Collette and a couple of her teenagers, who regularly volunteer at McLean, to thin out his tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and squash. Daily he tends and waters them. At 87 years young, Bill enjoys the freedom to walk his wheelchair right out to the gardens whenever he wishes. The adaptive gardens let a resident roll a wheelchair right up under the box so they can reach all the plants.

So how does golf fit into his story? Bill was also a passionate golfer traveling the world and playing many of the best courses. Today he enjoyed watching the British Open on TV then after lunch came out to the garden. He noted that he is cheering for Rory McIlroy as they come from the same area of Northern Ireland Bill noted he will be up late this evening catching up on the standings of all the players.

Bill explained that he only had small gardens in CT, because he was so business running his construction company and traveling. He thinks it's nice to get his hands back in the dirt now. Bill was a resident in the Robinson assisted living for several years before moving down the hall to the skilled nursing neighborhood that he now calls home. He loves his new room with his garden view.