Care homes across the country – including Aberdeen’s Jesmond Care Home – marked National Gardening Week last week by encouraging residents to work together to spruce up their outdoor space.
Renaissance Care Group organised a gardening competition between its 15 care homes, tasking residents, staff and relatives with transforming an area of the home’s garden or entrance way.
The care group initiated the competition to celebrate the benefits that nature and the great outdoors can bring to health and wellbeing.
The awards included ‘best transformation’, ‘greatest resident engagement’, ‘greatest community engagement’ and ‘greatest resident inclusion and creativity’, with Jesmond Care Home in Bridge of Don picking up the last accolade.
Jesmond Care Home resident, Elsie Connell, 86, offered tips and tricks to help other gardeners get started.
Elsie said: “I have always loved gardening, so I was very excited to get my hands dirty with this competition.
“I would recommend regular weeding to keep your garden nice and tidy.
“When watering plants, make sure to aim for the soil rather than the leaves and flowers, as this can damage them when the sun hits.
“Finally, it’s important to always use good quality soil, with stones or rocks at the bottom of the pot to help with drainage.”
Kirstene Feenan, marketing and communications manager, said: “At Renaissance Care, we always work hard to come up with creative activities that our residents will enjoy and benefit from.
“Each of the care homes have had great fun entering the competition, as well as learning and sharing new skills – the gardens have never looked more loved.
“We wanted to create the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones so we are so pleased to see this competition has enabled friends and family to enjoy some quality time with residents.
“Those who did not take part in the gardening have commented on how nice it has been to see happy people around the home once more.”