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Green-fingered residents at Encore Care Homes – Oakdale have had a blooming marvellous time in the communal gardens. The last month has seen the gardening club go from strength to strength with all manner of fruit, vegetables and herbs on the grow.

It was organised for residents who enjoyed gardening as a hobby and provides a relaxing outdoor environment. Taking place daily, the gardening club has proved popular with everyone.

Anna Philips, Wellbeing Manager said: “We meet daily and encourage residents to spend time outside, even if it’s just watering the plants. Several residents are avid gardeners and have taught me quite a lot. Such as how to separate the potatoes into rows and to tie up the tomato plants. The kitchen team are also very happy with all the vegetables that are growing!”

The gardening club has become an important part of everyday life at the home, especially during the lockdown.

Anna added: “The residents absolutely love it. It’s the chance to relax in the garden and see some colour. It gives a real sense of achievement to everyone. We have three or four residents with dementia that take part in the gardening. They really engage with it and it’s quite humbling.”

Family members have left plants and cuttings at the door, which residents were fond of in their previous gardens. This has helped to give reassurance, familiarity and confidence to many residents.

The local community have also been very generous in donating plants and equipment.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the kindness of donations to the gardening club, it’s been amazing. The flowerbeds are completely full and we’re keen to ensure our residents can continue with activities they’re interested in.”

At Encore Care Homes, we have purposely built our care homes to be flooded with natural light and designed with open plan spaces, outdoor garden spaces and balconies. These details all play a crucial part in the health and wellbeing of our residents.