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National Walking Month is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the health benefits that walking can offer, especially for those over 55. Walking is not just a simple way to stay active, but it is also an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, it not only boosts your mood but it can improve your overall health and wellbeing.  

 

Let’s start with the benefits of walking.  

If you’re not a regular at the local tennis courts or an avid marathon runner, low-impact walking is going to be one of the easiest ways to get back into exercise. 

Walking can provide a range of health benefits for those over 55, and getting outdoors near your retirement living apartment is free and easy to do. If the feeling of the sun on your face and the fresh air in your lungs still doesn’t entice you to start this healthy habit, we have pulled together 3 of the key benefits of walking that might just motivate you to head out on a walk this May. 

  1. Improved Heart Health: Walking regularly can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve cardiovascular health.
  2. Increased Mobility: Walking can help improve mobility and flexibility, which can be especially beneficial for older adults who may experience stiffness or joint pain. 
  3. Better Mood: Walking can help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall mental health and well-being.

 

3 Easy Walks to Try Out 

Our retirement living villages in Brighouse, Derby and Thornton Cleveleys are perfectly positioned for enjoying a variety of interesting walks. We have picked our favourite walks near each retirement living location. 

1) Alderman Lodge, Brighouse  

The Brighouse Canal Walk is a scenic route that showcases beautiful views of the Calder and Hebble Navigation Canal and the surrounding countryside. The walk begins at Brighouse Basin, which is a picturesque starting point in itself. If you fancy something light to eat before you walk, we recommend stopping at Jeremy’s at the Boathouse for some tapas and sitting on one of the outside tables. It’s a great place to people-watch as the basin is a popular spot for boaters and visitors alike, and it offers a peaceful and tranquil environment to start your walk. 

A view of the lock gates at the entrance to Brighouse canal basin and moorings on the calder and hebble navigation canal in calderdale West Yorkshire

This is an easy walk (we estimate that it will take around 1.5 hours to complete) and can be cut short by simply turning around or cutting across one of the locks. To complete our full recommended walk, you need to follow the canal path towards Cooper Bridge and cross several locks before turning around and heading back the way you came. The locks offer a glimpse into the history of the canal and the industrial heritage of the area and are an impressive feat of engineering that are still used today by boats navigating the canal. 

As you walk along, you’ll be guaranteed to be entertained, there is a healthy mixture of countryside and urban landscapes, with sections passing through woodland areas and others through the more built-up areas of Brighouse. If you are lucky, you might even spot a duck, swan, or one of the other waterfowl that live on the canal! 

One of the highlights of the walk is entering the edge of the charming town of Mirfield at Cooper Bridge, which provides a handy pitstop! This area is home to several pubs and cafes, where you can stop for a coffee or a bite to eat and take a break from your walk. 

Once you have had your pitstop, you can either cross to the other side of the canal to walk back to Brighouse Basin or turn around and use the same path. The marina (at Brighouse Basin) flanks the beginning and end of the walk and is a bustling hub of activity, with boats coming and going, it offers a great place to stop and watch the world go by. 

This is an easy walk suitable for all ages and abilities, and it’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise in a beautiful and peaceful setting. 

2) Albany Lodge, Derby 

Markeaton Park Walk – This easy walk is a great way to explore the beautiful Markeaton Park in Derby. The walk is approximately 1.5 miles long and takes around 1 hour to complete. The walk offers stunning views of the park’s gardens, lake, and woodland areas and is perfect for those looking for a leisurely stroll. 

Markeaton Park Lake

Just a 5 minute drive from Albany Lodge retirement living village sits Markeaton Park. The Markeaton Park walk is a delightful stroll that is particularly beautiful in springtime, when the trees are starting to bud, and the flowers are blooming, making it an excellent time to take in nature. 

The walk begins at the Markeaton Park car park (where you can park your car for free) and is signposted at the car park entrance. From here, the walk takes you through the park’s stunning gardens, which are in full bloom during the spring months. You’ll see a variety of colourful flowers, including tulips, daffodils, and crocuses, as well as blossoming trees such as cherry blossom and apple trees. 

If you are a nature lover, the walk is perfect for you as it takes you to the park’s lake, which is home to a variety of waterfowl, including ducks and swans (perfect to bring the Grandchildren to feed the ducks over long May bank holiday weekends). If you have some extra time, we suggest a slight detour of walking around the lake, taking in the serene and tranquil surroundings and admiring the views of the park. 

If you follow the trail, you’ll be guided to the woodland area of the park which is particularly enchanting in the spring months, with the trees starting to grow and snowdrops shooting up from the earth. The woodland area is also home to confident squirrels (who often sit on the path) so you’ll be sure to spot one. 

Whilst this walk is very short (around an hour long), if you did want to take a break during your walk, there’s a lovely café located in the park’s courtyard, which offers a range of hot and cold drinks and snacks. Alternatively, there are several picnic areas in the park where you can stop and enjoy a packed lunch or a cup of tea. 

We love this walk as it changes with the seasons, it is particularly nice to enjoy nature on weekday mornings to beat the lunch crowd and enjoy the tranquillity of the area. 

3) Royles Lodge, Thornton Cleveleys  

Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk – We couldn’t recommend a walk in Thornton Cleveleys that didn’t have sea views! Whilst there are many inland options (including King George’s Playing Fields that are steps away from our retirement living apartments at Royles Lodge) nothing clears out the cobwebs like fresh sea air! 

Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk

The Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk is a beautiful and scenic route that takes you along the Fylde Coast and offers breath-taking views of the sea and the surrounding countryside. The walk starts at Cleveleys Promenade and ends at Rossell Beach Promenade, and it is approximately 3 miles long. 

The walk is best enjoyed during low tide when you can see the vast expanse of the beach and the sea creatures that call it home. You might spot some sea birds, crabs, and other marine life in the tidal pools and exposed rocks. 

One of the highlights of the walk is the picturesque Cleveleys Beach, a beautiful stretch of golden sand that is perfect for relaxing and taking in the stunning views of the Irish Sea. The beach is a great spot for a picnic, sunbathing, or, if you could even bring your cossie for a refreshing dip in the sea during the warmer months. 

As you walk along the coast, you’ll also see the art installation, Mary’s Shell, and the iconic seafront shelters, which are a popular spot for taking a break and enjoying the view. You’ll pass through the beautiful Jubilee Gardens, where we recommend taking a moment to relax and appreciate the beautiful floral displays and the sea views. 

If you need a refreshment break during your walk, there are several cafes and pubs along the route where you can stop for a coffee, tea, or a bite to eat. Locals favourites include, The Venue, which is located on the seafront or The Queensway, which is situated just off the coastal path. 

The Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk is a wonderful way to get some exercise and take in the views of the Fylde Coast. With plenty of highlights along the way, it’s a great way to spend a few hours exploring this beautiful part of the country.

 

When you come to live with us in a luxury retirement living apartment, you are never too far away from a scenic walk. Walking is a simple and enjoyable way for those over 55 to stay active, boost their mood, and improve their overall health and well-being. So, why not take advantage of National Walking Month and try out these easy walks in Brighouse, Derby, and Thornton Cleveleys? You won’t regret it! 

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Retirement is the perfect time to explore and experience new things, and Derby is a great city to base yourself in while you do so. Located in the heart of England, Derby is easy to get to from many parts of the country, and if you choose to live in our Albany Lodge Retirement village, there are a number of fantastic day trips that can be taken from your base in your luxury retirement apartment. Here are our top five picks for spring 2023:

  1. Peak District National Park: Just a short drive from Derby, the Peak District National Park is a beautiful area of rolling hills, quaint villages, and stunning natural beauty. There are numerous walking and cycling trails to explore, as well as attractions such as Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall. The park is easily accessible by car, and there are also a number of public transportation options available, making it a convenient and enjoyable day trip for retirees.
  2. Nottingham: Located about 20 miles from Derby, Nottingham is a city with a rich history and a number of interesting attractions. Highlights include Nottingham Castle, the City of Caves, and for the more creative types, the Nottingham Contemporary art gallery is a must. The city is easily accessible by bus or train, and there are a number of accommodation options available if you want to extend your stay.
  3. Lincoln: Lincoln is a city with a rich history, and is home to a number of interesting landmarks and attractions. These include the Lincoln Cathedral, the Lincoln Castle, and the Lincolnshire Wolds, an area of rolling hills and pretty villages. The area is a popular destination for walkers and cyclists, and offers a peaceful and scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  4. Alton Towers: Alton Towers is a popular theme park located about an hour’s drive from Derby. It’s a great destination for families, with a range of thrilling rides, a water park, and a variety of other attractions, perfect to entertain the grandchildren during the school holidays. While the park may be more geared towards younger visitors, there are still plenty of things for retirees to enjoy, such as the gardens and the more relaxing rides.
  5. Birmingham: Located about an hour’s drive from Derby, Birmingham is a vibrant and diverse city with a range of cultural attractions, shopping, and dining options. Highlights include the Bullring shopping centre, the National Sea Life Centre, and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Close enough to enjoy several trips from your base at Albany Lodge retirement living, Birmingham will never be boring, there are a number of things to do in the city, including some more unusual activities including: visiting the Coffin Works museum, which is dedicated to the history of coffin-making; touring the City of Caves, a network of underground sandstone quarries; and exploring the Selly Manor Museum, a historic house filled with period furniture and artifacts. Other offbeat attractions include the Pen Museum, which celebrates the history of pen-making, and the Back to Backs, a collection of historic courtyard houses that have been preserved as a museum.

Living in Derby offers a range of great day trip options for retirees, whether you’re interested in exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture and history, or just having fun. Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you within easy reach of the city. Just remember to plan your trip in advance and make sure you have all the necessary arrangements in place, such as transportation and accommodation, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable day out.

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By Maggie Wilkinson

 

Do you sometimes long to have a go at drawing and painting, but find the sight of a blank, white page daunting – with negative thoughts of not wanting to make a mess? Sometimes, we need to make a start in a small, gentle, and easy way, to get our creativity flowing again and to restore our confidence. Think back to when you were a child; do you remember those cold, wet playtimes when you couldn’t go out, and how cosy and enjoyable it felt to be cosseted up indoors in the warm and colouring in?

 

Colouring is now a really popular hobby, with fabulous books designed especially for the adult market. Grown-ups are finding immense pleasure in this relaxing craft: the contemplative peace of sitting at the table at your retirement village living and setting out the supplies; then, the simple comfort of laying down the colours, bringing the picture to life with your own handiwork. What a delightful way to spend an afternoon, perhaps with your grandchild or craft group, working on your pages together, side by side.

Before you take the plunge and buy expensive books, why not click on the links below and print yourself off a selection of free images that appeal to you?

 

Supplies you can use:

  • Pencil crayons – these are a great medium to start with, and they vary enormously in price and quality. All the “colourists” have their favourites, and the serious devotees often have several sets. Pencil crayons are more forgiving and subtle than felt pens, with less chance of bleeding through and spoiling the drawing on the other side of the page. The Staedtler 157 SB24 Ergosoft Triangular Colouring Pencils are good, and come highly recommended by the creator of one of the loveliest series of colouring books, Johanna Basford. These are brilliant, relatively cheap, and a perfect place to start. The colours lay down very softly and are easy to layer and blend. Always lay a sheet of clean white paper under the page you’re working on, to prevent marking the underneath design.

Pencil Crayons

 

  • Fineliners  – These are very posh felt-tip pens, brilliant for complimenting, enhancing, and highlighting your pencil work. The tips really are very fine and work well for tiny shapes, adding decorative dots, lines, and flourishes.

Fineliners

 

  • Colouring Books – Johanna Basford has designed and produced a series of beautifully drawn colouring books. She has even drawn a very sweet and free colouring book, which you can download and print as a pdf—see the links below. Johanna offers inspiring, free online tutorials, and there’s a very friendly Facebook community who generously share their work, tips, recommendations, and ideas.

Free colouring downloads

Johanna’s Free Book, “Flourish”

 

Another way you can ease yourself into creating with colour is to start a journal— a small book to fill with doodles and sketches, inspired from little things you see around you whilst at your retirement community near the sea or out and about, or your thoughts. It’s fun to collect ephemera from places you visit and stick them in, embellishing by hand.

 

It’s truly rewarding to give yourself the time to be creative, and everyone is creative - we just forget to use it! So, why not check out these links and inspire yourself?

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By Maggie Wilkinson 

 

It’s always useful to have a little project up your sleeve for when the little ones come to visit and need some relaxing indoor entertainment in your retirement flat.   

Children love to do creative things, so here’s something to do on a rainy day from the comfort of your lifestyle village, without making too much mess in your lovely apartment – meet Cressida the cress head and her friends! 

Children as young as four can enjoy this project, stick-on eyes can be fun, and older children love to get creative with the detailing and character of the faces… 

To make this project, it’s good to get the preparation done ahead of time so the kids can get stuck in straight away and everything is to hand. 

Requirements: – 

  • Save some eggshells, and when you crack them open, cut as neatly as you can close to the top or the bottom of the egg. Your choice will influence the shape of the final face. Wash them and let them dry out. 
  • An ordinary pencil for each child and coloured pencils, or fine liner pens, felt tips; an assortment provides choice. 
  • Some plastic sheeting or newspaper to protect your work surface 
  • A small bowl of compost 
  • A packet of cress seeds and a small saucer 
  • A teaspoon for each child  
  • An egg cup for each “Cress head” 
  • A square of kitchen roll for each, or scraps of fabric 
  • Water to moisten the compost. 
  • Egg boxes if taking home 

 

 

Method: – 

Get each child to draw a face on their eggshell. It’s companionable to work alongside, as it gets them going and gives them confidence. 

When they’re happy with the features, and have doodled a bit of hair maybe, let them colour in with the pencils, or whatever they choose. 

When the colouring is dry, put half an inch of water into the shell, and show them how to nearly fill it with compost, using a teaspoon. 

 Show them how to drip water in slowly, so the compost doesn’t spill out, then firm it in carefully so as not to break the shell or spoil the art work. 

Get the kids to open the cress packet and tip the seeds onto the saucer. 

Show them how to sprinkle the seeds onto the soil virtually covering it for a thick head of hair! 

Tap another teaspoon of compost to cover the seeds, and drip on more water. 

Fold the kitchen paper or scrap of fabric into four and tuck it into the egg cup to make a decorative neckerchief. 

Park the eggshell into the egg cup, or if they are going to take them home, place them into an empty egg box for transport. 

The cress will need a careful water each day, and after four or five days on a sunny windowsill, the cress “hair” will start to grow, and the longer it gets, the more characterful and quirky the head will be. 

It’s good to use real soil because it teaches them about seeds, growing food and when it comes to hair cut time, there’s another opportunity for a secondary activity…lunch! 

How about boiling some fresh eggs to mash with a bit of mayo, and an egg and cress sandwich could be on the menu! 

Have Fun! 

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By Simon Oakley 

 

The Thornton-Cleveleys area is an ideal place for senior living communities as you can access nature within a short distance, whether it be nature reserves, long walks or just admiring plant and animal life. Here are some locations that showcase the best of nature in the area. 

 

Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve 

The first location worth exploring is the Marton Mere Nature Reserve in Ormskirk because of the rich diversity it offers and the native plant life. Managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, you can find plants such as the endangered whorled caraway, golden dock, tubular water dropwort, early marsh orchids, the large-flowered hemp nettle and purple ramping fumitory, all native to the nature reserve. 

This offers a paradise for wildlife throughout the year as different species settle in the area. For example, in the spring you can see wildflowers and birds nesting whilst during summers your see insects such as butterflies and dragonflies appear. 

If you have the spare time, then why not get up and personal with the wildlife in the area. You can get involved in activities such as a canoe safari and pond dipping giving people the opportunity to see nature and wildlife up close. 

Click here for more information

 

Wyre Estuary Country Park 

The Wyre Estuary County Park is another good place to visit as you can experience nature in a relaxed setting. Walks and picnics are a great way to just sit and enjoy your surroundings or you can sign up with local rangers at the park to go on fun tours and gain an insight into what makes the park special.  

The country park is ideal if you enjoy watching birds in a natural environment or if you admire different tree varieties. It’s a great place to visit to just explore your environment outside of your independent living communities. 

Click here for more information

 

Rossall Beach 

Living at Royles Lodge means you are only minutes from the Lancashire Coast. Rossall Beach situated a mile from the Cleveleys Beach is worth a mention because of the natural landscape that allows nature to thrive. If you walk along the beach, you will experience birds flocking along the sandy beaches and marine life along the coast. There has been rumours that even seals can be seen occasionally.  

In many ways, it is perfect for a late evening walk as you can watch the sun descend along the coast at sunset.  

Click here for more information

 

All of these places are a great change of scenery for those living in luxury retirement villages, when friends or family come to visit why not take them for a little trip outside of your senior living communities. 

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Burghley retirement living is a brilliant opportunity to take full advantage of your retirement. It gives you countless opportunities to enjoy your well earned retirement the way that it should be.

At Burghley we believe that the time you spend after retiring should be stress free with no worries hanging over your head, so with that being the case, why wait to move into your own independent living?

Burghley Retirement Living provides an environment in which you are able to stay active physically and mentally (there are even tennis courts to enjoy with your new neighbours).  

 

We understand that your home is a place where memories have been made throughout your life and it will be understandably hard to let go, but Burghley’s retirement apartments are fantastic places to make new memories in during this exciting next chapter of your life.

The chance to downsize and be free of the burdens of house owning makes buying your own luxury apartment a no brainer.

Having more time and money to enjoy trips is just one of the many things you’ll find you have after downsizing. Not having to deal with maintenance of a house or worrying about cutting the lawn every week will mean you’ll find that the time you have really is your time!

If you are a fan of gardening, Burghley will also offer areas that green fingered residents are able to care for, meaning that you won’t miss out on doing the things you love doing, but without the pressure.  

 

Burghley are offering a new type of retirement living in which you can thrive independently within beautiful surroundings close to our luxury complexes.

We have situated our luxury retirement apartments near to areas of interest because we know the importance of spending time with your loved ones and taking the grandchildren on day trips.

The freedom of using your leisure time to do activities of your choice, whilst fulfilling and rewarding may be a new concept to you, meaning the idea of being a retiree will be far from how you see yourself.

However, surrounding yourself with others who are also enjoying life after work will help you thrive in an environment where Burghley takes care of any mundane issues and worries that you may have had before life at Burghley retirement living.  

 

Buying a retirement living apartment can sound daunting at first, maybe even lonely to some.

However, at Burghley Retirement Living we make sure that you are given much more than a luxury retirement apartment, by creating a community with others with similar interests and attitudes to life in retirement.

Having your own private independent apartment allows you to host dinner parties for your new neighbours in your fully equipped kitchen and entertain friends and family in your luxury living areas.

Having fully accessible living designs means that your guests will be able to visit your apartment comfortably, and of course allows you to move around without any difficulty in your own home.  

 

So the question stands: why wait to move into your retirement living apartment?

The answer is simple, don’t wait, you deserve to experience retirement in the way you’ve always pictured. After years of working it’s time to take time for yourself and be proud of what you have achieved.

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By Maggie Wilkinson 

 

That mood, when the day is blustery and bleak, and you’re feeling cold and cheated, wondering what on earth happened to Summer!

The weather can bring about a restlessness, a boredom, antipathy… but you want to make the most of your time in your luxury retirement village, so why not challenge the elements and get out in the fresh air. This can really clear the mind and bring fresh thoughts and lift your mood. 

Pick up your camera and go outside. Fresh air really helps – breathe deep! Somehow, the simple act of carrying the camera with the thought to find some natural beauty to delight your eyes is refreshing therapy in itself, a bit of a reboot. 

Sometimes we get mired in by a crowded mind and we forget to look around, forget to drink in the gorgeousness of our world. The heft of the camera reminds us to see through its lens, it focusses our vision and teaches us to be selective, notice the details of things. You will discover that visual joy is the one that speaks loudest…visual joy is straight into the vein. 

Colours can make the heart soar, and the wind, sun or rain enhance everything with their unique and layering gloss and light. So, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, leave your senior living community, put on your coat and brave the weather, you may well be rewarded with some simple exhilaration gleaned from the outdoors. 

 

Here are some snaps to inspire you… 

 

Rhubarb and Custard Tulip 

 

 

This tulip is full of shimmy and movement, caught in a brief lull between the wind and the rain – isn’t she just delicious, clothed in rippling pink-and-cream silk? What an uprush of joy she gives, and the memory of snuggling the papery bulb into the cold brown earth last November…what a reward! 

 

Colour has very strong appeal, but don’t forget to look for  interesting patterns and textures. 

 

Spade 

 

 

This noble old spade carries a lifetime of memories in its rough, ashen grain, the patina of years, use and weather, give it a character all its own, and you can imagine who used it, the hands that held it, rough hands, smooth wood. 

 

Apple Blossom 

 

 

The last image is a tender froth of apple blossom. Spring colours are so new, so promising, and in this little tree, this image, lies the future delightful anticipation of a hot apple crumble, spiked with a drift of cinnamon! 

 

What will you do with your photographs? 

 

Photography is such a fantastic record of good times shared, occasions, and it can be brilliant for the day-to-day journaling of what you see and what you love, you can show your loved ones the beautiful nature you’ve seen during your time in your senior living community – you don’t have to even print them unless you want to…  

If you want to have a go, start by using the camera on your mobile, they produce really good images these days and you can even crop and edit there. And it’s so easy to share your images with friends, family and loved ones, through social media and email. 

If you get the bug and want to take it further, you might like to consider buying a camera, such as this one: – 

Canon EOS 200D – Cameras – Canon UK 

It’s really easy to use and you can automatically send the photos to your phone which makes sharing really straightforward. 

Whatever you do, enjoy the adventure! 

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A New Beginning – and different ways to think about gardening!

It takes great courage and imagination to choose a completely new lifestyle for yourself, and our luxury retirement villages are the perfect place to make a change.

Sometimes adjusting to a new lifestyle can feel quite emotionally daunting, and if you’ve enjoyed a garden previously, you might be wondering how you’ll cope without one.

An Allotment:

When you stay with us at our luxury retirement villages, why not sign up for a local allotment? The advantages are brilliant. You’ll be able to get that wonderful feeling from growing and nurturing plants and being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, on a scale you can choose and manage.

  • A half plot – or share a plot with a friend. You’ll be able to share the work, your ideas, skills and resources, and when one of you is away, the other can keep it ticking over.
  • Community plots – many sites offer these, where you can just have a raised bed for yourself, on a plot with like-minded people. It’s amazing how much you can grow in a small place and you will enjoy meeting others on the same plot, swapping ideas, seeds, and probably sharing a pot of tea!
  • Allotment Committees love people like you! It may be that you can offer them a bit of much-needed help from time to time, that amazing gift of time which enables them to run annual events like plant sales, annual shows etc. It’s really good fun helping out, from making tea and sandwiches, sowing seeds, arranging the displays, to baking cakes and so on. There are so many jobs to do if you like helping out. And as a volunteer, you can choose what and when you can offer, making the best of your particular skills and preferences.

House plants:

You can bring your garden indoors! While you stay with us as part of our senior living communities why not make your room feel more like home with some fresh house plants. They require just a little bit of maintenance, and that splash of green is so uplifting and worthwhile! Here are some ideas: –

  • Spider plants – easy and graceful.
  • Mint – lush and fragrant and you can enjoy a glass of fresh mint tea!
  • Aloe Vera – dramatic and easy, enjoying light and a little water.
  • Succulents – love a nice warm sunny spot. They need very little water, and just a shallow container for three or four plants. The variety available is amazing, and your collection will surely grow.
  • Seasonal displays – you can change with the seasons in your apartment and grow beautiful spring bulbs, little potted roses, geraniums, so many plants are readily available that are happy to grow indoors. Think of that joyful splash of colour, the wonderful scents from things growing, and the pleasure in looking after them. No heavy tools needed, just some sharp fine snips, a long spouted light little watering can, and take your pick!
  • Flower arrangements – such a lovely way of introducing growing beauty and colour inside, and if you do it regularly you’ll enjoy a selection of different shaped vases and containers. Your tools will tidy away in a drawer, and you can do it when you feel like it. Bad weather no problem!

So, let’s get growing!

Author – Maggie Wilkinson

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A New Beginning – and different ways to think about gardening!

It takes great courage and imagination to choose a completely new lifestyle for yourself, and our luxury retirement villages are the perfect place to make a change.

Sometimes adjusting to a new lifestyle can feel quite emotionally daunting, and if you’ve enjoyed a garden previously, you might be wondering how you’ll cope without one.

An Allotment:

When you stay with us at our luxury retirement villages, why not sign up for a local allotment? The advantages are brilliant. You’ll be able to get that wonderful feeling from growing and nurturing plants and being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, on a scale you can choose and manage.

  • A half plot – or share a plot with a friend. You’ll be able to share the work, your ideas, skills and resources, and when one of you is away, the other can keep it ticking over.
  • Community plots – many sites offer these, where you can just have a raised bed for yourself, on a plot with like-minded people. It’s amazing how much you can grow in a small place and you will enjoy meeting others on the same plot, swapping ideas, seeds, and probably sharing a pot of tea!
  • Allotment Committees love people like you! It may be that you can offer them a bit of much-needed help from time to time, that amazing gift of time which enables them to run annual events like plant sales, annual shows etc. It’s really good fun helping out, from making tea and sandwiches, sowing seeds, arranging the displays, to baking cakes and so on. There are so many jobs to do if you like helping out. And as a volunteer, you can choose what and when you can offer, making the best of your particular skills and preferences.

House plants:

You can bring your garden indoors! While you stay with us as part of our senior living communities why not make your room feel more like home with some fresh house plants. They require just a little bit of maintenance, and that splash of green is so uplifting and worthwhile! Here are some ideas: –

  • Spider plants – easy and graceful.
  • Mint – lush and fragrant and you can enjoy a glass of fresh mint tea!
  • Aloe Vera – dramatic and easy, enjoying light and a little water.
  • Succulents – love a nice warm sunny spot. They need very little water, and just a shallow container for three or four plants. The variety available is amazing, and your collection will surely grow.
  • Seasonal displays – you can change with the seasons in your apartment and grow beautiful spring bulbs, little potted roses, geraniums, so many plants are readily available that are happy to grow indoors. Think of that joyful splash of colour, the wonderful scents from things growing, and the pleasure in looking after them. No heavy tools needed, just some sharp fine snips, a long spouted light little watering can, and take your pick!
  • Flower arrangements – such a lovely way of introducing growing beauty and colour inside, and if you do it regularly you’ll enjoy a selection of different shaped vases and containers. Your tools will tidy away in a drawer, and you can do it when you feel like it. Bad weather no problem!

So, let’s get growing!

Author – Maggie Wilkinson

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