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Featherton House Care Home Resident Jock Pirie

Green-fingered residents at Featherton House Care Home in Deddington are tackling a project to breathe life back into an old greenhouse.

The gardening club at the home, which is rated good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has cleared out the building that only had been used for garden storage for some time.

The greenhouse now is brimming with plants grown from seed including courgettes, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, rocket, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, oregano, basil, thyme and Love in a Mist flowers.

Home manager Agi Rygala said: “The residents in the gardening club have taken this project to heart and it is proving to be a real tonic for their health and wellbeing. It helps keep residents both mentally and physically active as they plan what they want to cultivate and then care for the plants. 

One resident, Jock Pirie, who used to grow bedding plants and sell them at a nursery in Leamington, loves being part of the gardening club. He said: “Gardening keeps you active and gives you something nice to think about. Also, it is very rewarding when you start to see your seeds sprouting.  We’ve recently purchased a propagator to speed things along.

“I hope we grow more produce for the home. It would be great to grow fruit and veg all year round for us to use in the kitchen here.”

A fellow gardening fan is Heather Starling, whose interest in cultivating plants and vegetables was sparked by her dad, who was a gardener. She said: “My dad worked organising and tidying other people’s gardens.  We had a greenhouse and a big garden ourselves. 

“What I love about gardening is the fresh air and sunshine. It gives you a good feeling when you see your work come to fruition.”

Featherton House Care Home forms part of Wren Retirement Living and is managed by Healthcare Management Solutions. The service provides residential care for up to 25 older people. 

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