"The gardens at St Catherines View provide the residents with the obvious benefits of stress relief, access to sunlight, improved mood and are a safe environment. However, as the gardener, I feel our gardens are all about enjoyment.
The beautifully created spaces are used by the residents and their families as an extension of the main building. The best part about my job is when someone wanders into the garden and spends time with me talking about the plants or the wildlife. We can stroll around the grounds or they can help me with tasks such as watering or deadheading. For the less able, the garden provides a peaceful, sensory experience. Bird song in the cool meadow, the smells of Lavender and Night Scented Stocks in the formal garden or the taste of a freshly picked strawberry from the vegetable patch.
I particularly like being a gardener at St Catherines because it gives me the chance to be creative. Not only because I get to choose a lot of the extensive planting plans but I run a weekly gardening club which is great fun. We have tried so many different activities, from creating bug houses to making our own sloe gin!
The residents have been involved in making a small themed garden which, at present, is a beach theme, complete with crabs, windmills and shells!
Alison Gaunt, Gardener at St Catherines View