Senior Living in Vibrant Color – Boulder Daily Camera

For nearly 90 years, Mickey Johnson found joy and peace in gardening, first as a child wading behind his mother, later as the mother of three boys, then with her husband in their nest of retired to Arizona. So when she decided 11 years ago to be closer to her sons in Colorado, it was essential for her to put down roots, both abstractly and in the most literal sense, in an older community that would welcome his green hand.

“I visited several places in the area and saw that although many had gardens on their land, it was unusual for older people themselves to do the gardening,” she recalls. That’s when she discovered The Carillon at Boulder Creek, an upscale, luxury hotel-style seniors’ community nestled between Folsom Field and the east campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder and, for the greater Johnson’s Pleasure, just steps from the flora and fauna of the seven-mile Boulder Creek Trail.

Additionally, and especially for Johnson, The Carillon cultivates seven circular raised beds that residents can maintain. “Anyone can have a gardening circle, and it’s so fun to see what people are doing, what they’re planting, and their designs, Johnson said. “We meet there almost every night to talk, and we share our plants and our ideas. But raised beds are the answer to get us out – it was good planning by the Carillon.

Jonathan Castner

Le Carillon cultivates seven circular raised beds that residents can maintain.

Johnson, the chairman of the Carillon’s gardening committee, enjoys growing an assortment of annuals and perennials. “We make changes every year,” she said. “The irises are in bud and I’ve planted a purple garlic plant which looks beautiful with the variegated green and white irises.” Her “orange-peach” roses and hummingbird-appealing herbaceous penstemon lend her grace and color, and she deliberately mixes in a few veggies — “my version of victory garden, but not in the backyard,” she said. she says with a small laugh. Last year, one of his tomato plants soared six feet tall; “I saved some of the seeds and sold the babies at the Boulder Gardening Club sale,” she said. Columbine and aster complete Johnson’s garden this spring. “We take care of the garden entirely,” she said. “We do the weeding, and if they don’t get enough water, we take care of that too.

Johnson views his garden as a gift to the residents of Carillon and the Boulder community as a whole. “We’ve had backyard events, like a marshmallow roast, and people walk around the gardens and see what’s happening, what’s growing with the seasons. Just last night someone from an apartment across the street stopped by to say how much she loves walking here with her dog,” she said. In addition to his circular garden bed, Johnson takes care of the garden surrounding the Carillon gazebo. “There are benches that we like to sit on, and it’s a beautiful place,” she said, adding, “Gardening brings pleasure, to me and to others, and that’s one thing. soothing and peaceful to do.”

In 2021, the Carillon Gardening Committee hosted a Boulder Gardening Club event, where Boulder Club members strolled through the Carillon Gardens and shared refreshments with residents. “We all stood by our gardens and answered questions. It was a way to show what older people could do with these raised beds,” Johnson said. Carillon’s gardening committee also helps its fellow citizens grow potted plants on their balconies and in their apartments. “The plants you might grow on the sunny side of the building or the shady side of the building might be different,” she noted.

Although gardening is Johnson’s first love at the Carillon, she enjoys the full calendar of community activities. “I love going to exercise classes, and there are so many interesting people to talk to,” she said. “We have a lot of retired college teachers and people with great experiences, people who escaped Nazi Germany and a woman who knew Anne Frank. There are all kinds of thoughtful people here from all over the county and lots of great things to do.

The Carillion, in fact, has a reputation for lively conversations and a solid activity program. “Our clubs are definitely one of our hallmarks, and our programming is distinguished by its diversity and intellectual stimulation,” said Carillon Community Sales Manager Bryan Sanchez. “Our residents are active and dynamic, and they like our clubs to keep them engaged. This socialization is crucial for them.

Le Carillon, which has approximately 150 residents, offers both independent and supported living, so it is important for the community to organize a multitude of clubs and activities targeting different levels of interest and physical abilities. “Our Resident Activities Committee partners with our Activities Program Supervisor to oversee and provide feedback on our many social opportunities,” Sanchez explained. The clubs are as varied as the bookworm book club, the Nifty Needlers knitting club and the bridge, mahjong and rummikub gambling clubs. The restaurant committee meets regularly with the Carillon chef to discuss the menu, and the art class fills a designated community hallway with artwork from all media. For those seeking movement, Carillon’s PrimeFit wellness and fitness classes are scheduled daily, and the saltwater pool and spa are community favorites. The activities committee books frequent field trips to museums and cultural and sporting events, and residents can join the hiking club to explore nearby trails. Happy hours rotate weekly, with community-wide gatherings as well as Suds and Buds hour for men and Sippin’ Sisters happy hour for women. Finally, the Carillon’s parent company, LeisureCare, spearheads domestic and international travel, like the upcoming San Diego Guided Trip, allowing residents to travel safely and comfortably with friends. “It’s no exaggeration to say there’s always something to do here,” Sanchez said.

To schedule a visit or learn more about the Carillon at Boulder Creek, email Sanchez at [email protected] or call 720.565.6844.

  • Flowers in Carillon Garden

    Jonathan Castner

    Le Carillon cultivates seven circular raised beds that residents can maintain.

  • Flowers in Carillon Garden

    Jonathan Castner

    Le Carillon cultivates seven circular raised beds that residents can maintain.

  • Flowers in Carillon Garden

    Jonathan Castner

    Le Carillon cultivates seven circular raised beds that residents can maintain.

  • Flowers in Carillon Garden

    Jonathan Castner

    Le Carillon cultivates seven circular raised beds that residents can maintain.