A New Forest care home has ‘brought the outside in’ with the launch of a peaceful indoor oasis to support residents’ mental and physical wellbeing.
The botanical lounge at Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington features an abundance of lush plants in a bright, airy space that will evolve in line with the seasons and residents’ interests in gardening.
A living wall and planters contain plant varieties known for being among the best at absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air.
They include dragon trees, spider plants, aspidistras and mother-in-law’s tongue, all helping to create a fresh, therapeutic ambience.
Gardeners at the home have added some further seasonal cheer to the greenery through colourful cyclamens, orchids and poinsettias.
Reclining with a book in a sunny window seat, resident John Webster said: “This is a truly beautiful, peaceful setting that will be thoroughly enjoyable to escape to. I’ll be coming back to sit in the morning sunshine as often as I can.”
While the first-floor lounge is open to residents at all times, it is hoped it will also become a focus for the home’s garden club which meets regularly throughout the year.
Club enthusiast Jean Denham said: “I’m really looking forward to having our garden club sessions here in the lounge, in particular to learn about the variety of plants.”
Belmore Lodge Home Manager Julie House said: “It’s widely acknowledged that plants are good for you.
“Gardening and engaging with the natural world is a positive and therapeutic activity that improves both mental and physical wellbeing.
“This botanical room is a quiet, serene space well away from any screens or commotion, somewhere you can experience a fresh-air feeling all year round.”
The home’s Companionship Team Leader May Butcher said: “Many of our residents have a background of living in a country environment and are used to experiencing the peace and tranquility that comes with it.
“We also have very keen gardeners among us who have taken a huge interest in our gardening club and can now enjoy this in an indoors setting available at any time regardless of the English weather.”