Care Home Residents and Pupils Grow Wild in Wrexham

Green-fingered residents of a care home have joined forces with primary school pupils to create a colourful haven for wild flowers.

HThe Grow Wild community project is proving a bit hit at the Hillbury Care Home which is part of the Pendine Park care organisation.

Pupils of Victoria CP School dropped in to plant wild flower seeds supplied by the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

According to Anita Moran, Hillbury House activities co-ordinator, the aim of the project is to create wildlife-friendly wild UK native flower havens.

She said: “Residents are always delighted when children from Victoria School come to Hillbury House and they are really pleased to work on a project such as Grow Wild.

“The children have planted wild flower seeds at school and have helped us plant seeds here at Hillbury House too. The idea is when they have grown and are in flower residents and children can come together again to enjoy and talk about the different flowers they have grown.

“Many of our older residents will remember wild flower meadows that children today don’t have the opportunity to see. According to Kew we have lost 97% of our wild flower meadows since the 1930s.”

Manager Cindy Clutton added: “As part of the Grow Wild project we have planted the seeds provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens here in the gardens of Hillbury House and hope that not only will they provide a splash of colour but they will help butterflies bees and birds too.

“It’s always a pleasure to welcome children from Victoria CP School. They are so polite, helpful and understanding and I know how much residents enjoy their visits. I think the children gain a great deal from it too.”

Lesley Wilson, Year 3 teacher at Victoria CP School, thinks it’s a blooming marvellous idea.

She said: “It is always nice to be involved in projects such as Grow Wild where older people get to work with children. It helps pupils gain an understanding of older people as well as allowing them to work on an important environmental project.

“Children have planted wild flower seeds at school as well as here at Hillbury House and we look forward to watching them grow and enjoying the flowers when they are in bloom.”

Hillbury House gardener Terry Williams looks forward to seeing which wild flowers grow from the seeds.

He said: “The annuals sown by children and residents will hopefully flower this summer and re-seed ready for next year. The perennials will hopefully root this year and flower next year.

“I think it’s a great idea and will bring a sense of wildness to the gardens. I don’t think you can beat wild native flowers in the grounds.”

Victoria CP School Year 3 pupil Ananya Joshi, eight, enjoys visiting Hillbury House and talking to residents.

She said: “It’s been a good idea planting the seeds and I can’t wait to see what flowers grow.

“I like coming to Hillbury House and talking to the residents. I want to share the flowers we grow with the older people. They are very kind and have lots of stories that they tell us.”

Fellow Year 3 pupil Charlie Burton, also eight, said: “It’s nice to plant seeds and wait to see what flowers grow.

“I think it is a really good project and may be I’d like to be a gardener when I grow up.

“I also like coming here and talking to the older people. They are funny and it makes you think what it will be like to grow old.”

Hillbury House resident, Annice Thomas, says she looks forward to seeing the children when they visit.

She said: “It’s been good fun planting the seeds and seeing the children always brightens the day. They are always smiling and having fun. We are looking forward to seeing what flowers grow.

“They will make our gardens look even nicer and the children will be able to come back and enjoy seeing them too.”

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