TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh has given his backing to a drive for care home residents and their local communities to get out and garden.
The popular TV gardener will judge Balhousie in Bloom, a competition taking place across Balhousie Care Group’s 26 care facilities.
The Perth-based care home operator, which operates in six regions of Scotland, said it was “thrilled to bits” to have Alan’s backing as judge for the finalist. The winning care home will receive a £500 prize from Balhousie Care Group for its residents’ comfort fund.
The competition has four categories and there will be also be prizes for each of the following categories: Staff & Resident Participation; Most Improved Garden; Community Engagement; and Indoor Garden. Alan will judge the final winner from photos and videos compiled by the entrants.
Alan said: “Over the past year, our gardens and outdoor spaces have brought more joy to people than ever, offering a sanctuary, a place to relax and be closer to nature, and a place for activity and exercise. In care homes they have become even more special. It is wonderful to see residents and staff across Balhousie Care Group celebrating their gardens through Balhousie in Bloom. I’m delighted to be a judge for this competition and can’t wait to see the finalists’ great work.”
Balhousie in Bloom has already seen lots of activity by Balhousie’s care homes, with garden revamps taking place across the group. At Balhousie Luncarty in Perthshire, resident John Simpson recently broke ground on a project which will transform the front garden of the historic property, formerly a country home.
Staff, residents and community volunteers (pictured) have joined in with planting and the first of many garden activities which will create some fun projects over the next two months. Balhousie Luncarty received donations of plants from local Aldi, B&Q, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Lidl and Morrisons stores.
However, such is the competitive spirit across Balhousie’s care homes, Balhousie Luncarty Manager Cheryl Banks is keeping ‘mum’ about their design plans. “All I can say is that our new garden will be a celebration not only of the care our staff show but also the strength of Balhousie Luncarty’s community links. Our home is located right in the heart of Old Luncarty village and has close ties with the local nursery and community groups. We don’t ever take these associations for granted, so we wanted to create a project which would pull everyone together.”
Jill Kerr, Group Chief Executive Officer at Balhousie Care Group and one of the category judges, said: “Many of our residents and staff take a lot of pleasure from spending time and working on our homes’ gardens and this is a lovely way to celebrate the joy this brings. It’s inspiring to see all our homes embracing the competition and we’re thrilled to bits to have Alan on board as our final judge. He’ll be working from photos and videos as his TV commitments mean he can’t travel up here in person, so our care homes will be working hard to document their ‘Bloom’ journey.”
Judging for Balhousie in Bloom takes place in June with winners announced in July. Want to get involved or send a donation? Email firstname.lastname@example.org