World Wellbeing Week 2020 – Mental Wellbeing tip – Scotter Road Gardening
Posted on 24, June 2020
Karen Trippier, Team Leader at Together’s Hampshire West Housing & Support Eastleigh Hub shares the gardening activities at Scotter Road
The residents of Scotter Road had been planning a gardening activity prior to Covid-19 restrictions. When lockdown came along this prevented the trips to garden centres, and a lot of the planned activities going ahead.
As time went on, residents and staff came to appreciate the value of having outdoor garden space, and wanted to do something to make it a nicer space for everyone to enjoy. Residents wanted something to fill their time, and as restrictions were relaxed a little, we wanted a nice space to promote safe visiting options to our garden, enabling us all to once again see people face to face in a safe, socially distance-friendly space.
We managed to obtain a nice selection of potted plants from a local supplier. We used our own home-grown compost (and staff shovelling techniques!) to arrange a variety of flowers in pots around our garden, and to complement the natural fauna and flora we have.
It was a great activity to do together, and our residents have continued the responsibilities of ongoing care and watering.
The photos above show Jude and Cat from our staff team being supervised by one of our residents, Owen.
Every time we arrive at Scotter Road the flowers look lovely and make us smile before we even get in the door. It’s also encouraged us to get outside more each day, enjoy fresh air and the good weather, top up our vitamin D levels under the sun and given us something nice to look at out of our windows rain or shine.
Of course, at Scotter Road, food is never too far from our agenda either…..and this year as in previous years our rhubarb continues to be the envy of many and to provide us with a generous harvest. It also goes rather nicely with pears from our tree for a crumble later in the season!
Flowers and plants are a symbol of hope for many. Their many colours and patterns brighten up the view. There is a sense of achievement in seeing the results (or fruits depending on what you grow) of your labours – for us there was an instant fix of seeing them all nicely arranged in pots around the garden, as well as the existing residents in our hardy flower beds. They need both the sunshine and the rain to grow and bloom – reminding us that the difficult, rainy times are as essential to our growth and beauty as the sunny days. They remind us of resilience – seeing now the blossoms that a few months ago were tiny shoots in bare, winter soil, and have weathered the storms to get to where they are now.
The wellbeing benefits of our gardening are not just about the activity on the day which filled time, was lots of fun, and a great team effort between staff and residents. On an ongoing basis there is a sense of purpose that comes with the responsibility for their care, a sense of achievement as we watch them bloom, something to lift our mood and make our space more cheerful, a space where we can welcome more and more of those people important to our individual and collective wellbeing, and….of course home grown produce!