More than 200 residents at 21 care homes in the south have taken part in a competition focused on gardening, horticulture and outdoor inspiration.
The third annual Colten Village Produce Show was described as the ‘best yet’ by Colten Care Head Gardener Charles Hubberstey.
First place went to Outstanding-rated Lymington dementia care home Linden House, followed closely by Abbotts Barton in Winchester with Braemar Lodge in Salisbury coming third.
Homes chose ten out of 15 categories for submitting entries, which were photographed and uploaded to an online image library ahead of judging.
Categories included ‘A Tussy-Mussy’ (arranging a posie of flowering annuals, herbs or perennials) and ‘Heave Ho!’ (growing the largest beetroot possible).
The show embraced baking and preserve and condiment making using garden ingredients.
At the same time, residents got creative with garden-themed paintings, sketches, photography and creative writing.
Further categories included making decorative items such as ornaments, birdbaths and wind chimes from upcycled garden materials.
Charles said: “The show is an ideal, hands-on opportunity for our residents, gardeners and Companions to come together in a year-round celebration of garden-inspired creativity.
“The results always amaze us. It’s humbling to see the skills our residents have and the effort and detail that goes into the entries.
“We have improved every year despite the impact of the pandemic. This show was the best yet and I believe next year will be even bigger and better.”
Homes competed to achieve a maximum of 224 points across their ten categories. Linden House scored 192, just four points ahead of Abbotts Barton and six above Braemar Lodge.
Contributing to the score for Linden House was a painting of a local scene by resident Nigel Bendell who said: “Producing the painting has put me in the mood to pursue it as a hobby. I was very surprised we won first place as I had no idea how good our competitors would be. It was great to share my success with my family.”