With the advent of nicer weather, we were desperate to get back out into the garden and enjoy the start of the summer.
However, we noticed that our planter boxes on the patio could do with some TLC. Stationed at hip level, they were also the perfect height at which our residents could tend without a lot of difficulty.
Cedar Lodge called a Residents’ Meeting to discuss what they would like to plant in these boxes. With a wealth of gardening knowledge between them, the meeting was well attended and lots of great ideas were discussed. At the close of the meeting, a verdict was reached, with residents deciding that they would like to grow vegetables in their planters which would be picked and eaten at the care home. We settled on a mixture of sweet and savoury produce – strawberries, blackberries, carrots and tomatoes – and agreed that any leftover produce could be showcased at our seasonal fetes to help bolster the residents’ fund.
We picked up seeds for our produce from the local gardening centre and then waited for a sunny day so we could start planting. With the help of Manager Zoey and our handyman Mark, residents got stuck in to gardening – clearing the soil, digging holes and watering the newly planted seeds. We also planted a few sunflowers. It was great fun, and it was amazing to see how some of our residents who live with dementia quickly remembered their gardening skills. While we encourage residents to enjoy a leisurely retirement at Cedar Lodge, it’s equally important for individuals who live in care to continue to enjoy a sense of purpose – becoming involved in communal projects like caring for plants is a great way to achieve this.
Since planting the seeds and sunflowers in May we’ve been pottering on the patio most days, tending to the planters and seeing the first buds of growth. We look forward to showing off our harvested produce later this year.