Canterbury Woods senior living community in Pacific Grove is iconic in many ways. It’s built around centuries-old oaks and evergreens that provide wide canopies of shade. Its midcentury, beach bungalow-influenced architecture stands proud among its “great lawn,” rose garden and whimsical statuary that pays tribute to its coastal location.
But two of the community’s most defining features and resident-favorite spots are its Japanese Garden to the east and the Jade Garden to the west. “We are a community that cherishes its heritage back to when we first opened in 1967,” said resident Nancy Frost. “You will not find a more friendly group of residents who welcome all to such a beautiful location.”
Part of that heritage is Jade Garden, the centerpiece of which is a jade rock that sits proudly on a concrete pedestal surrounded by a patio in the shape of a nautilus shell. The jade boulder was raised from a depth of 75 feet in Jade Cove, south of Point Lobos near Big Sur, by famed marine biologist Don Wobber, known affectionately as Pacific Grove’s “Jade Man.” Five million years ago, the Pacific Plate and ocean sediments were crushed and compressed, later emerging at the surface as serpentine and jade. One of the richest sources of jade in the United States is the northern California coast.
Jade Garden is the site of community events such as the annual Blessing of the Animals, outdoor exercise classes, and quiet contemplative conversations with family and friends. “It is a fitting symbol for our location here in Pacific Grove,” said resident Anne Wheelis. “It represents the strength and dignity of our community.”
On the other end of campus sits the Japanese Garden that includes a koi and goldfish pond surrounded by maple, pine, cedar, magnolia, junipers, ferns and bamboo. Residents enjoy this serene retreat where a gentle waterfall cascades over smooth pebbles into the pond. Nancy has spent the past eight years tending to the pond and landscape and has named each koi based on color and personality. “We have Brutus, Sweetone, Silver and Red among them. As you probably guessed, Brutus is sometimes one of the least accommodating of the bunch,” Nancy said with a laugh.
Located on six wooded acres just blocks from charming downtown Pacific Grove, Canterbury Woods offers endless opportunities to stay connected and social. Residents enjoy a full roster of varied programs, take advantage of beautiful walking trails and fill their calendars with cultural and academic events, concerts, classes and more.