Hallmark care home, Anisha Grange in Essex, recently received a visit from celebrity gardener David Domoney as part of a company-wide gardening competition.
Mr Domoney is most recognisable for his work on the Alan Titchmarsh Show and visited Anisha Grange to view the home’s award-winning gardens and to meet residents.
The judging process is being supported by managing director of Hallmark Care Homes, Avnish Goyal and Damien Newman from gardening charity Thrive.
Speaking about the competition, Mr Domoney said: “Gardening not only has physical benefits it has therapeutic benefits as it is a key link to the past. It’s good to see a care home has recognised this fact and implemented it as an activity at the home.
“The gardens in general were very nice; I loved how there is lots of different areas so the resident can sneak away get some fresh air and enjoy the tranquillity of the garden in private if they choose too.”
Hallmark in Bloom was originally launched 12 years ago and takes place annually during July. The competition encourages residents at all the group’s homes to take part in gardening and other outdoor activities.
This year’s competition saw entrants from all 17 of the group’s homes throughout England and Wales and each home was judged on categories including: ‘Best Whole Home Effort’ and ‘Best Resident Engagement.’
Staff and residents at Anisha Grange visited local garden centres to gain tips and advice on how best to plant their hanging baskets, while the gardening club at the home included artwork and literature from residents into the garden. The home’s garden also featured a beach hut and a Morris Minor car.
Hallmark care homes have been working with gardening charity Thrive to encourage the therapeutic benefits of gardening for older people and ensuring that staff have the relevant skills to enable residents to make the most the outdoor space available to them.
Training and education officer from Thrive, Damien Newman, said: “Anisha Grange continues to improve its gardens every year and the more it matures the better it looks.
“This year I was particularly impressed with the fruit and vegetable patch which has really come together over the last 12 months.”
Visitors were invited to attend the judging day, where they could enjoy music, homemade fish and chips and an ice-cream van.
Winners of the competition will be notified in August.