Residents at Clara Court will be celebrating National Allotment Week eating the fresh vegetables they have planted and grown in the grounds.
When the balconies of the building were redeveloped this year, some green-fingered gardening enthusiasts at the home approached manager Leigh Reid and suggested they use the planters that had been on the balconies to develop a vegetable patch in the garden.
Many of the 76 residents remember the post-war days when allotments were the main source of vegetables for many families, and they have given the staff great tips for growing vegetables the organic way.
Leigh said: “Care UK actively encourages older people to keep up their life skills and interests and this has really played to their strengths. We have several former painters and decorators who have stripped and re-varnished the planters, and farmers and gardeners who have given invaluable advice on what to cultivate and how.”
The residents have planted and tended potatoes, runner beans, courgettes and tomatoes, and harvests have been good; some produce is being used in the home’s kitchen and the rest has been sold to staff and relatives with the profits being ploughed straight back into the garden.
Leigh said: “They are having a wonderful time. The gardening not only keeps them fit and active but also stimulates their minds. This works particularly well as we are a specialist dementia home. They love taking their relatives out to see what they have been doing and it encourages them to reminisce.”