De Clare Lodge gardening club helps new life spring out of lockdown

Green-fingered apartment Owners at Churchill Retirement Living’s De Clare Lodge development in Cowbridge have been focusing their spare time on brightening up the communal gardens during lockdown.

Lodge Manager Ann Slade explains: “During the first lockdown, it became apparent that we had a few avid gardeners in our midst. With a little persuasion they were keen to enhance our newly manicured gardens, inject a little colour and creativity, and to ultimately benefit the general wellbeing of all our Owners who enjoy spending time in the communal gardens.”

Jane Blaney, who was once an award-winning gardener back in her home town in Norfolk before moving to De Clare Lodge, was one of the first to get involved. “Life at De Clare Lodge is really excellent,” she says. “But we felt the garden beds were too uniformly green, so we decided collectively to order and plant our favourite spring bulbs ready to brighten us all up during the dark days of winter.”

Another Owner Gaynor Powney is fortunate to occupy an end apartment with a large corner garden area at the back of the Lodge, which she loves to tend with the help of the Lodge’s contracted gardeners. She has managed to achieve a very colourful display, even incorporating some potted vegetables, which she shares with other apartment Owners. “Along with my friend and neighbour Angela, I planted runner beans and tomatoes,” says Gaynor. “Then we thought how wonderful it would be to design a small herb garden, as most of the Owners here like to cook. This has been a great success and very therapeutic to tend.”

Lodge Manager Ann adds: “Each lockdown has been very difficult, but with Spring just around the corner the Owners have been planning what new plants they would like to add to our very sunny plot. Everyone has had their own ideas which have inspired some excitement for the near future, and we’re all looking forward to enjoying brighter days in the garden very soon!”