Boughton Hall allotment holders held a harvest festival at which the green-fingered gardeners proudly showed their much pampered produce to owners and guests.
They also sold the ‘fruits’ of their labours in aid of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd which provides palliative care for residents of Cheshire West, Chester and Deeside.
General manager of the Boughton Hall retirement village, June Callaghan, said: “A wonderful array of goodies were on display at our harvest festival, including the first Pattypan squash in Boughton Hall history as well as a Brexit yellow courgette shaped like a boomerang alongside some light-hearted statements!
“A vast collection of pretty flowers, tomatoes, blueberries, courgettes, kale beans, herbs and rhubarb were completely sold out and over £60 was raised for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd. Everyone had a lovely afternoon – so much so that it will definitely be an annual event.”
Visitors were also able to enjoy refreshments while hearing the ‘tales from the seven beds’.
Sally Guttmann, one of the allotment owners at the retirement village created by Enterprise Retirement Living – part of Enterprise Property Group – said: “We have seven small allotments here, all with raised beds, and those of us who have one of these consider ourselves very lucky.
“It’s so nice to get the earth under the finger nails and just spend time gardening each week. It’s very satisfying and rewarding to get out into the open, be in the fresh air and do something productive. Many of us have come from family homes with big gardens and we feel blessed to have the opportunity to have something of our own to tend to, but which is a manageable size.”
Sally took over the allotment about three years ago – which coincided with her husband’s dementia diagnosis.
Unfortunately, her husband is now in a care home so the allotment is a welcome addition to her life.
Sally spent some time ‘working over’ her allotment when she took it on. The previous owners had used it as a herb garden, but she chose to grow other things instead.
“I have mint in a separate pot and on the plot itself I am growing mixed lettuce, Swiss chard and courgettes, as well as some flowers, such as nasturtiums and cosmos which provide lovely flowers to fill the spaces.”
Sally also feels it provides an opportunity to meet other allotment holders.
“Depending on which time of day you go, someone else is often working down there too. It’s a sociable thing to do and it’s as much an excuse to get together. We also meet as a committee, under the chairmanship of our general manager at Boughton Hall, to discuss what we think is working or not working, and we consider any aspects about the general garden at the same time. Water butts and compost bins are provided too.”
The outside space is one of the aspects of living at Boughton Hall that many of the owners particularly enjoy.
“The formal gardens and grounds give a very good impression and are well maintained and looked after,” added Sally. “The lawns are manicured and a number of the established trees in the grounds carry preservation orders. Others have also been retained to enhance the overall look of the village.”
Boughton Hall is a Grade II listed hall, which has been carefully restored to be the elegant focal point of the luxury retirement village.