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Residents at Downham Grange nursing home hope their green fingers will help them score a double success

downham market gardening2

Residents at Downham Grange nursing home hope their green fingers will help them score a double success. For they have started work on creating wildflower, sensory and vegetable gardens to compete in two competitions, Downham in Bloom and Kingsley in Bloom. Frankie Chandler, activities coordinator at the Kingsley Healthcare run home in Clackclose Road, Downham Market, said: “Since the weather picked up we have been clearing all the beds, ready to start work after the winter. “We are growing sunflowers and wildflowers from seed and are confident of creating a colourful display by the time the judges come around in July.”  

Aromatic plants such as honeysuckle, roses and lavender would enhance the display, along with hanging baskets. “A representative of the RSPB will be coming in to give a talk about attracting birds and other wildlife and we want to turn part of the garden into a wildlife haven,” she said. Mrs. Chandler admitted she was a gardening novice but had benefited from the experience of residents and their families.  

“Lesley Williamson, the wife of one of our residents, Roy, has been really supportive and spent a lot of time in the garden.   “Margaret Walsh and her family have also been showing a keen interest,” she said. Fellow activities coordinator Gail Suiter said they were looking to involve the whole community with disabled youngsters from the group Volunteering Matters set to help their gardening project. 

“We have also been talking to the Prince’s Trust about its young people also becoming involved in the home,” she added.   Kingsley in Bloom will see Downham Grange competing against the other 28 homes in the group. Its judging categories will see homes challenged to make displays out of “Pots, pans and watering cans”, “All things edible”, “See, Feel and Smell” (a sensory garden) and “Best flowering bed”.  

downham market gardening1

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