The love and dedication that Pam King and her fellow gardeners have bestowed on the numerous gardens that surround the Leisure Gardens cottages is inspiring. Their meticulous planning for optimum colour in spring, the selective pruning when flowers have ‘gone’ over, and constant weeding and the supervising of the garden help bears testimony to the lovely gardens that they have created. To boost needy revenue for the gardens they have a yearly plant sale and ‘Open Day’. Old time favourites such as Wallflowers, Valerian, Dendrobiums etc., that are no longer available commercially, and other unusual plants are eagerly snapped up by local gardeners on the day.
Upon entering the complex one senses the abundance and excitement of life: the colour scheme is a happy one – yellow and orange forms the back bone of the colourful borders; there are hints of blues and reds, there are roses in tubs, and petunias spilling over containers. These gardens bring a smile to the face and warmth to the heart.
The little individual gardens are delightful; those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty have created little gems around their front door. Whether containers are used or plants in situ, the result is a varied combination of styles, plant choices and colours.
A quiet place of contemplation under trees was created opposite the rooms occupied by residents who no longer can garden. They are able to view this lovely area from their armchairs, watching visiting birds and the seasons go by.
Pam King, Sue Malcomess, Donny Vawles, Connie Rosewall and Charles Ware, we salute you for your remarkable dedication, perseverance and hard work. You are an inspiration to many who are years younger.
“There are many tired gardeners but I’ve seldom met old gardeners. I know many elderly gardeners but the majority are young at heart. Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized. The one absolute of gardeners is faith. Regardless of how bad past gardens have been, every gardener believes that next year’s will be better. It is easy to age when there is nothing to believe in, nothing to hope for; gardeners, however, simply refuse to grow up. Thomas Jefferson said once, “Though an old man, I am but a young gardener”. ~ Anon
Text and Photographs: Esther Townsend