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Gardening changes lives

Resident Cherry Mawhood, pictured at the Laurels and Lime Care home, by the new raised Flowerbeds.  Picture: Marie Caley NSST Garden  MC 5
Resident Cherry Mawhood, pictured at the Laurels and Lime Care home, by the new raised Flowerbeds. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Garden MC 5

Planting herbs has helped residents at a Sheffield care home spend time outside and also rekindle their passion for gardening.

Horticultural therapy sessions have been taking place at The Laurels and The Limes Care Home, on Manchester Road, for several weeks.

L-r Chris Knight, Matt Cain, Activities Co-ordinator, Sylvia Smith, Ken and Sheila Wright, Margaret Smith, Louise Spooner, Home Manager and Cherry Mawhood, pictured by the raised flower beds that they have helped to plant. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Garden  MC 1

L-r Chris Knight, Matt Cain, Activities Co-ordinator, Sylvia Smith, Ken and Sheila Wright, Margaret Smith, Louise Spooner, Home Manager and Cherry Mawhood, pictured by the raised flower beds that they have helped to plant. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Garden MC 1

The latest session with expert Caroline Cook included planting herbs in accessible raised beds.

The activities have proven benefits for all elderly residents, particularly those with dementia, helping to reduce agitation, anxiety and improve wellbeing.

Caroline works with care homes and day centres with elderly residents throughout South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

She said many residents tell her that they enjoy the sessions, and encouraged others to get involved.

The horticultural therapy sessions with Caroline have been excellent

Louise Spooner

“Let’s get people with dementia outside. They can get the sun on their face, they can touch and smell and the flowers, and get a fantastic sense of wellbeing.

“People are never too old. I have a lady of 107 who comes to gardening group every week. I have a lady who’s 95, is visually impaired and can’t see anything, and she said it’s the best day of her life when she’s gardening.”

Using modified gardening techniques, table top gardening, raised planters and adapted tools, Caroline encourages older people to plan their garden, sow seeds and grow vegetables and flowers.

Louise Spooner, home manager at The Laurels Care Home, praised Caroline and thanked her for taking the time to organise the sessions for residents.

Resident Margaret Smith, takes a closer look at some of the flowers planted in the flowerbeds.  Picture: Marie Caley NSST Garden  MC 3

Resident Margaret Smith, takes a closer look at some of the flowers planted in the flowerbeds. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Garden MC 3

She said: “The horticultural therapy sessions with Caroline have been excellent.

“We’ve found when talking to residents about what they’d like to do and their past experiences of things they’ve enjoyed doing, gardening featured very strongly.

“We always aim to run activities that our residents have said they’re interested and take pleasure in.

“Getting outside in the sunshine in our lovely garden is one of those.

Residents Ken and Sheila Wright, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Garden  MC 6

Residents Ken and Sheila Wright, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Garden MC 6

“Having the expertise of a horticultural therapist has helped elevate those activities and we now also have some lovely planters with a great range of flowers and herbs for everyone to enjoy.”

Anyone interested in running horticultural therapy sessions with Caroline can visit her official website at www.gardeningwithcaroline.co.uk for more information.

You can also e-mail Caroline at info@gardeningwithcaroline.co.uk.