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Messing about in the garden at Rose Lodge

Shopping at the garden centre

Setting up the greenhouse

March started with the arrival of our new raised beds which were, of course, perfectly empty! We held a  residents meeting to decide what plants and vegetables our residents remember and enjoy and so now we needed an outing to the garden centre to stock up. We got a little carried away and could not get everything in the boot – luckily our weekend cook happened to be there at the same time and took some of it home for us. In addition to lots of plants and seeds we also invested in a little greenhouse, and a couple of the residents helped to put it together. One of the relatives helped us with filling the beds with compost and manure and soon a number of residents were busy planting out the beds. Amanda Joy, a local florist, gave us a massive bag of bulbs which the residents planted out in pots on the terrace. And we have discovered that the window sill in our lounge is an ideal environment for germinating seeds, perfect for growing our own tomatoes from seed. Not just tomatoes but also pumpkins, peppers and sunflowers.  Before long we were on the terrace again, potting up our various vegetables. Realising that our raised beds simply were not big enough to grow our multitudes of vegetables which now included leeks and swedes, we asked the gardener to dig us a vegetable patch and we have begun to plant this out. This week we ate our first home grown organic lettuces, picked by the residents of course!  

When we discussed the terrace project at the relatives meeting earlier this year we wanted to see if we could use this project to tempt the residents out into the garden and sofar it has been successful. Not all residents are able or willing to go onto the terrace so at times we do some potting up inside, or residents arrange flowers with flowers that the residents have picked in the garden. And of course the residents can see the raised bed from the lounge area, providing lots of interest with regular visits from squirrels and seagulls. The garden project is helping a number of our residents to stay in touch with the seasons, and many have vivid and pleasant memories of growing their own vegetables and flowers. For one resident it is bringing a real sense of joy and purpose as she now goes out into the garden most days, watering plants, feeding the koi carp in our pond, and feeding the birds and the squirrels.


Our spring planting

As the days get warmer we aim to encourage more and more of our residents to enjoy the gardens at Rose Lodge.



2 Responses to “Messing about in the garden at Rose Lodge”

  • Kate Dewey:

    I work for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust influencing planning applications, and recently have had to comment on a proposed care home re-vamp and extension. Apart from needing surveys for protected species like bats, I have made suggestions about landscaping for wildlife but also veg gardening, as local growing is sustainable and of course good for people. I looked online for examples of gardening in care homes as I didn’t know much about it, and I’m really impressed with your blog. I am now not afraid to suggest hens as well, in fact I have put a link to your site in my comments. It has been very useful reading about your work, and I hope that the project I am working on can incorporate more of these ideas. Hopefully it will be positive for the human as well as the animal residents! Keep up the good work. Many thanks,

    Kate Dewey
    Planning and Conservation Officer

  • Thank you for you kind comments, and I am happy that our work has helped you. We are very convinced of the benefits of gardening to our residents. It keeps them in touch with the seasons (even those that dont venture outside see the vegetables being brought in), and it can maintain their skills and sense of purpose. As an example, recently the residents made Halloween lanterns from pumpkins that they have grown in the veggie garden.

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