There are millions of people who get excited for the arrival of spring because it signals the time to get out into the garden and get their hands dirty. Soil preparation and spring plantings set the stage for what can turn into a stellar display of blooms and vegetation for the rest of summer and into fall.
Greg Copeland is one such gardener. At just 28 years old, Greg has been developing his green thumb since moving into his own home four years ago.
According to Greg, he loves to see plants grow and bloom, and to watch them change as they mature. “I especially like caring for my rose bushes, and I have a lot of luck with daisies and dianthus,” he says. “I have a combination of annuals and perennials, and I have fun with my boxwood bushes because you can shape them however you want.”
Greg receives Independent Living supports from Easterseals Midwest and has a diagnosis of mixed receptive-expressive language disorder and other learning disorders. Nonetheless, he lives on his own with just a few hours of support each Thursday. “I get some help with paying my bills and grocery shopping. I’m not very good at finding the best prices in the store, so I can overpay if someone doesn’t help me compare the different brands,” Greg states. He also receives support with house maintenance and with scheduling doctor’s appointments.
Gardening is something that Greg can enjoy on his own with a little help from others. He has many ideas about how he wants his yard and flower beds to look, but he employs the help of a woman named Pam who helps Greg determine exactly what to plant and where based on amount of sunlight and soil conditions. Greg also received some help from a family friend to construct landscaping walls around his beds and a large tree in the front yard.
When he is not at his full-time job at Texas Roadhouse, where he is a busser and dishwasher, Greg can be found tending to his wide array of plantings, an activity that he finds very relaxing. The neighbors are also appreciative of Greg’s green thumb. His yard stands out on his dead-end street as the most colorful and well-tended. His next project: building a backyard patio surrounded by flowers!