Ideal Carehomes launches the ‘Gardens in Bloom’ competition across all care homes in Spring each year.
The contest encourages both staff and residents to work together to embrace their love of the great outdoors by devising and implementing an exciting revamp for their gardens that everybody can enjoy during the summer months.
Each year, the transformations are a real community effort, with the homes partnering with local garden centres, businesses and schools who generously donate flowers, paints, gardening tools and decorations to help create the wonderful displays and impressive garden features.
In 2019, De Brook Lodge care home, based in Manchester, took home the crown following their amazing garden overhaul which included new outdoor seating areas for the residents to enjoy, flowerbeds with handmade decorated planters and hanging baskets. The residents also added a vegetable patch and special ‘fairy garden’ for younger visitors to enjoy.
Danielle Aikenhead, Lifestyle Manager at last year’s winning home, De Brook Lodge, said, ‘We were absolutely thrilled to be the competition winner in 2019 – all of the credit must go to our amazing residents who embraced the competition with such gusto’.
In Summer 2020, despite the country being in and out of lockdown, each home took on the challenge to create even more wonderful outside spaces for residents to enjoy and this time it was
Holmfirth care home, Greenacres, who were crowned the National Winners. They were surprised with the result by a special video message from celebrity gardening personality, Alan Titchmarsh.
Alan, who is famous for presenting Ground Force and Love Your Garden, virtually announced the competition winners with a heart-warming video in which he described the winning garden as a ‘beautiful atmosphere to be in’. During the video, Alan also congratulated Ashworth Grange care home in Dewsbury for scooping the national runner-up accolade with their seaside themed garden project which had fantastic involvement from the local community.
The Greenacres team introduced a ‘Green-fingers At Greenacres’ themed garden masterpiece, which featured upcycled garden furniture to create a vegetable patch and herb garden, a resident-centred wall mural art project, a wishing well, newly planted apple trees which once ripe will be placed outside in a basket for passers-by to enjoy and even their own farm which houses adorable sheep made from wire. The team were delighted to hear that many local school children have been eagerly waiting to see what fun and festive costumes their new scarecrows will be dressed in next, as the home plan on making a ‘festive scarecrow scene’ for everybody to enjoy throughout the year.
However, it was the homes ‘Secret Night Garden’ that really blew the judges away, as residents and staff created a tranquil seating area under a beautifully decorated pergola featuring climbing roses and waterfall fairy lights, providing the perfect hide-away to relax.
Alan Titchmarsh, said, ‘I would like to congratulate all of you that took part in the contest, the amazing initiative brings together residents and staff doing what I love doing and do every day – which is gardening! To grow your own plants and to create an atmosphere that is beautiful to be in is really important. Well done to everyone involved and keep growing!’.
Greenacres resident, Sheila Matthews, said, ‘I absolutely love gardening and the team have let us be as hands on as we wanted throughout the contest. I helped to create some flowerbeds and planted the sweetest smelling flowers for everybody to enjoy. For our home to be crowned the winner is just the icing on the cake and a lovely way to round of our summer!’.
Ideal Carehomes Director, Stacey Linn, said, ‘Each year the Gardens in Bloom competition is enjoyed by everyone and it is wonderful to see the relationships built and nurtured when residents and staff worked together to create an outdoor masterpiece. I thoroughly enjoy my visits to the finalist homes and am blown away by their efforts and creativity.’