Garden boon for residents

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Like the old days . . . Enjoying a new raised vegetable garden are (from left) Wyndham and Districts Community Rest-home resident Helen Bruce, manager Annette Sin clair, residents Marie Scoles and Heather Buckingham, Garden Fairy volunteer Elaine Davers, resident Sheila Knola, Garden Fairy vol unteers Edith Shepherd and Glenda Knapp and resident Les Gutsall. PHOTO: MICHAEL CURREEN

A new garden gives Wyndham and Districts Community Rest Home residents easy access to grow vegetables right on their doorstep.

The garden bed, which stands like a table, was donated by the Garden Fairies volunteer group which set it up at the front of the rest-home last Friday.

Garden Fairies volunteer Glenda Knapp said they were glad to be able to support the rest-home.

“We had a bit of excess money and it was something they said they wanted. We just thought it was something closer for them to get to. We’ve got raised gardens out the back but some of them are not that mobile so it’s nice and easy access here.”

The nursery at the back of the rest-home was started by the Garden Fairies in 2016, Mrs Knapp said.

“We sell plants and donate the money back to whatever they may need: tunnel houses, footpaths, garden furniture, a gazebo.”

“Residents said we were like fairies in the garden, which is how we got our name,” Mrs Knapp said.

Garden Fairies volunteer Edith Shepherd said they enjoyed supporting their local rest-home through gardening projects.

“We live in Edendale. We’re just doing what we enjoy. I love gardening. It’s all done for the benefit of the residents.”

It was a former resident, Erle Dale’s enthusiasm for gardening which first got the ball rolling, Mrs Shepherd said.

“He just loved gardening and he loved herbs. I’ve learned so much from him. So it’s been beneficial for us as well.”

The new vegetable garden will allow residents to grow strawberries, lettuces, spring onions, radishes and tomatoes, Mrs Shepherd said.

It also saves the rest-home money on food, she said.

Rest-home manager Annette Sinclair said this vegetable garden was more accessible for residents than the nursery at the back of the rest-home.

“Some of those residents can’t make it around, so you bring the garden to the residents. It’s going to be really good for them to be able to go out there. It’ll bring back memories for them when they were growing their gardens.”

Gardening was beneficial for the wellbeing of the residents, Mrs Sinclair said.

“It really lifts them. That connection with the earth and being able to get close and hands on makes such a difference for them. Gardening is a really soothing and reflective time.”

Resident Heather Buckingham said the new garden was a wonderful addition that would bring back memories.

“It’s there for people to remember what they used to do. Everybody usually had a paddock garden. I could pick like a radish or something and put it in a salad.”

The new garden means that can happen again, Mrs Buckingham said.

It is also something to do, she said.

“It can become like a hobby.”