TV’s Flower Pot Gang invade Sheffield garden

gardening expert Joe Swift along with TV presenters Anneka Rice and Phil Tufnell at Woodland View Nursing Home, Norton
gardening expert Joe Swift along with TV presenters Anneka Rice and Phil Tufnell at Woodland View Nursing Home, Norton
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IT’S surprising what you might find lurking down at the bottom of the garden...

But you might not expect it to be a trio of famous folk as happened on this particular Sheffield plot.

Gardening expert Joe Swift, along with TV presenters Anneka Rice and Phil Tufnell, dropped in on Woodland View Nursing Home at Norton, where they helped to create a spectacular new sensory garden as part of new BBC show The Flowerpot Gang.

The colourful garden has a vegetable patch, a summer house and a ‘yellow brick road’ path - all designed to stimulate the senses of service users who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

It also has a self-powered ‘sound post’ where the calming sounds of seagulls, and waves lapping at the shore, can be heard.

Kevan Taylor, chief executive of the health trust which runs the home, said: “We were delighted to welcome the BBC.

“This was such a beneficial project for them to get involved with, as the benefits of horticulture as a therapeutic intervention are widely recognised and are helping people who use our services to grow in confidence.”

The TV crew spent almost two weeks filming the project but viewers will have to wait until next Wednesday, August 15, at 8pm to see the transformation when the show, the first in the series, is aired on BBC One.

Anneka rallied the local community to come and help clear, dig and plant at the site.

Joe, known for his work on Gardeners’ World, offered up his horticultural expertise by designing the new space.

And former England cricketer Phil got stuck into working the land while getting to know the stories of the people for whom the space is being created.

A vital element of the project was the involvement of local people – in this case the support of a team of volunteers including more than 30 people from the Woodland View Dementia Support Group, who were regularly on site digging, clearing and barrowing.

Volunteers from the Friends of the Botanical Gardens, Heeley City Farm and the Territorial Army also played their part.

Woodland View Nursing Home provides accommodation for 60 people with a diagnosis of a dementia. It is divided into four cottages, each with 15 bedrooms and its own garden area.

Fiona Williams, acting manager at Woodland View, said: “The new sensory garden looks marvellous. There was a large team who spent a couple of weeks working on the project, in all kinds of weather! Before the makeover it was quite an unused area, and now it looks superb.

“It has been designed to offer different opportunities at different times to different people.

“Service users seem to love the sensory element to the garden, particularly the fragrant herbs such as fennel.

“This new garden really enhances the site.”