Westgate In Bloom – Winners Announced
For the past few months, our care homes have been working hard to get their gardens in top shape for the Westgate In Bloom competition. Homes were judged across three different categories; Longest Runner Bean, Best Sensory Garden, and Best Flower Basket. However, after our judge, Chief Operating Officer, Debbie, went to assess the gardens, we had to add a new category, Most Innovative Creation!
All of the homes put their thinking caps on, with residents and staff working as a team to transform their gardens, and we were delighted with the results!
Without further ado, here are the winners.
Category: Best Flower Basket
Winner: Riverdale Care Home
The flower basket category required an innovative design that told a meaningful story and was made using only recycled or donated materials. The entry submissions were outstanding, and it was hard to pick just one winner.
However, Riverdale's Resident Doreen stole the first spot with this beautiful bicycle design. Activities Lead, Debbie, managed to get an old, broken bike from a family friend, Debbie's husband fixed it up, ready for Doreen to work her magic and plant her beautiful flowers in the front basket.
Growing up locally, Doreen fondly recalls when the area which Riverdale now stands on was open grassland, and families would ride their bikes along the River Brain. Doreen says, "Bikes were often the mode of transport back then and people, including myself, would often travel on our bikes, to and from work, through the area. You would see children learning how to ride their bikes on the grass. It was, and still is, a lovely place to visit."
Well done, Doreen and team!
Category: Longest Runner Bean
Winner: Ashview Nursing Home
Ashview Nursing Home are crowned winners of the 'Longest Runner Bean' competition after nursing their bean to an impressive length of 24.1cm!
It was a collaborative effort, with the residents meeting up earlier in the year to plant the seeds and prepare their canes. They took it in turns to water and check on the beans, making sure they were getting the love and care they needed to grow. The team was delighted when they started to see their first runner bean flourish!
Resident Eileen who was in charge of keeping the runner bean alive says, “I planted it very early in the year in a pot in the small lounge by the window until it was ready to go outside. It was watered and fed every day. I kept a very close eye on it. I was over the moon that we won first prize in the competition. Congratulations to all the care homes that took part.”
It was a job well done, and the whole home are pleased with the results. Go, team!
Category: Best Sensory Garden
Winner: Kingfisher Nursing Home
It was an epic transformation for Kingfisher's garden, who not only got the residents and staff involved but reached out to their local communities, with many people offering their services for free!
It all started in their daily meeting, Home Manager Mary expressed her thoughts on how the garden needed a little TLC. After some brainstorming, Activities Lead Angie put a post on Kingfisher's Facebook page, reaching out to the community for donations. Kingfisher had received an overwhelming amount of support from local businesses, starting with Creative Escapes, a landscaping company that helped tidy up Kingfisher's Garden on a pro bono basis! Staff Nicole and Angie got stuck in with cleaning the furniture, supervised by Nurse Naomi, who regularly checked their temperature, safety comes first!
Local Tesco employees donated all their money raised from a previous barbeque fundraiser to help build a beautiful and unique planter for the home's garden with a variety of different flowers blooming, with Wickes even donating all of the soil used! The residents were so excited to see the results, and it transformed the garden completely.
Resident Mary's sons donated and planted a cherry tree in their spare time, one of Kingfisher's student volunteers contributed lovely flowers for the garden, with residents George and Brian helping to plant them.
They then decided on where they would place their sensory areas – touch, smell & hearing.
The touch area involved an adorable hedgehog statue nestled in the flower bed with his new friends, a snail, and a frog statue made from a beautiful grass texture.
The smell area featured the gorgeous scent of lavender, along with a small herb garden full of basil, thyme, and rosemary. It smelt gorgeous!
The hearing area consisted of relaxing wind chimes, perfect for taking some time out to relax.
In the night, the garden lights up, with gorgeous fairy lights coming out of water cans, it is a beautiful and magical sight.
All the hard work has paid off, and Kingfisher residents and staff now love to spend most of their time enjoying the new garden surroundings. Fantastic work team!
Category: Most Innovative Creation
Winner: Westgate House Care Centre
This was a newly created category, but we just had to share the innovative creation made by Westgate House!
Since the lockdown, Westgate House has not been able to welcome visitors into their home. So that is when Activities Coordinator, Rosie and residents hatched a plan to welcome a new face. With much merriment, laughter, and hard work from the team, Wally was born. He is bringing so much pleasure to the residents, and he is already part of the family!
The residents were so excited to be getting a new friend that they held a welcome party in honour, and then Wally visited the rest of the home in their rooms, all that walking made him very tired!
Wally is the protector of Westgate House, watching from Bluebell Unit's balcony, making sure everyone is staying safe and behaving. He's made his way to the garden, where he has a beautiful view of the gorgeous flowers, and the residents can now go outside and visit him regularly.
Wally has brought so much joy to Westgate House, and we all hope he is with us in the long run. This is for you, Wally!
All of the homes have made an extraordinary effort to transform their gardens into a lovely space for the residents to enjoy in the summer.
Well done to everyone who participated in the Westgate In Bloom competition!
If you are interested in finding out more about our homes, please click here or call 0808 301 9092.