The Japanese word ikebana (pronounced “i·kay·baa·nuh”) meaning “to give a life to flowers” takes on a whole new meaning at Stoneridge Creek. The Ikebana Club has become a popular pastime for residents from different cultures and backgrounds.

Working together with the landscapers, the Ikebana Club is utilizing plant clippings to create art right from their own backyard. Read more about this cultural art form that’s making an impact in the lives of residents at our community.

In Pleasanton, an ancient Japanese tradition points a way to healthier aging

Stoneridge Creek residents arranging flowers in an Ikebana Club at the community.

Stoneridge Creek residents participate in an Ikebana Club at the community. (Courtesy: Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group)

Bay Area Seniors Preserving Ikebana Flower Arranging

Stoneridge Creek residents commonly refer to the community as “a cruise ship on dry land.” Why? Because there’s so much to do just right outside your front door. The Life Plan Community is located just 40 miles outside San Francisco.

It offers residents a plethora of activities for residents to enjoy on the 46-acre campus. This Pleasanton, CA, community has so much to offer independent and active seniors to keep them engaged. From chorus to the woodshop to the competitive pickleball teams, the sky’s the limit at Stoneridge Creek.

One of the most popular activities is a unique flower-arranging group called the Ikebana Club. Their story is so interesting that the Mercury News included a feature article about them on the front page of the paper. Residents enjoy meeting new people and making social connections through this unique art form.

Cultural Art Makes Impact for Older Adults

You won’t find any tree trimmings or fallen flowers along Stoneridge Creek’s sprawling campus. That’s because a group of residents is working with the community landscapers to use those plant clippings to create pieces of art in the community’s Ikebana Club.

Ikebana is a cultural art that started in Japan. The arrangements are striking and showcase the key materials and floral designs of Ikebana. This includes flowers, branches and leaves – with most representing a different season of the year.

Leading the group of a dozen ladies at the retirement community is Alice Huang. She learned the art form while attending school in Japan in the 1980s. For the last two years, she’s taught her neighbors – from all different cultures – the ancient Japanese art of harmonious floral arrangements.

“When I moved into Stoneridge Creek, I was looking for some activities to get involved in. That’s when I met these happy ladies,” said Huang. “I enjoy seeing their shiny faces, and we all like having beautiful flowers to take back home with us.”

The group meets twice a month for two hours. During that time, they work on their next piece of art inside the Bay Area senior living community.

Many of them are skilled, while others are just beginning. In each class, Alice helps her neighbors perfect their projects. Each person utilizes the clippings from the landscapers around the community as well as flowers and vases purchased from local stores. Each arrangement lasts about two weeks.

“There are so many activities here,” said Huang. “I feel like I’m back in college. You don’t need to worry about daily cooking or taking care of your home. The social life is wonderful, and I’m truly enjoying this fulfilling chapter in my life.”

For residents like Joan Buchanan, the classes are a way to connect again and make senior friendships, especially after the pandemic.

“For those few hours, we all enjoy sharing our stories and seeing each other. It’s a joy to be able to take such a beautiful arrangement home to enjoy,” she said.

Recent studies show that working with flowers is a natural healthy way to boost mood and combat depression. These classes promote social interaction, which benefits seniors by reducing loneliness and isolation.

Explore a New Passion at Stoneridge Creek

You can expect more out of your retirement experience at Stoneridge Creek. Located just minutes from downtown Pleasanton, California, in Alameda County, the master-planned community offers residents a retirement choice for everyone.

Stoneridge Creek has a large variety of floor plan options to meet your needs and tastes. At this Life Plan Community, residents enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that best-in-class services and access to long-term care are available at the adjacent health care center, Creekview if ever needed.

Connect with us to learn more about life at Stoneridge Creek today!