We are celebrating National Gardening Week at Garden House Hospice Care and Karen Smith, Gardening Team Lead, gives an overview of how important the garden at the Hospice is to our patients and their carers and families.
“Our garden is a vital part of the care given at Garden House Hospice Care. We endeavour to make sure that it is a place of beauty, tranquillity and solace, no matter the season or the weather. Many of our patients can enjoy watching the garden grow and change and those that can go into the garden, can find areas to sit quietly and reflect and relax.
“The role of our garden is so important as it can also help to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, as staff and visitors often need a short time to themselves and this space provides them with an opportunity to rejuvenate. However, as we all know, gardens require a lot of maintenance throughout the year and our volunteers are vital to ensure they remain groomed and maintained.
“With the coming of spring, everything is wakening up and coming into bloom, including the weeds!
“The glorious Easter weather and mild spring have meant that the tulip pots flowered earlier than anticipated. The display was fleeting but very colourful! We are hoping the summer bedding will give us another great display, but we will need to wait until the middle of May to see.
“As a nation of weather watchers we always have something to say about the conditions and I am no exception….it’s too dry.
“It has been a difficult season for keen gardeners as there has been very little rain, lots of sun and warmth, interspersed with chilly winds and cold nights. Our beautiful Wisteria has been hit by a late frost but luckily has not suffered much damage. The Cersis outside our gym is stunning, the best it has ever been. The very hot weather last summer contributed to the loss of a large bank of Hebes and perennials, which we needed to remove and replant.
“Luckily we could replace them by using the plants that came out of the area that houses the builders cabins. We have also been able to replant all the perennials from the front garden. At the risk of repeating myself all we need now is RAIN, but only at night and not at the weekend!
“In the meantime it’s time to get back to those naughty weeds, especially those annoying ones that seed themselves right in the middle of a shrub……”