A care home in Gwynedd has come with a blooming marvellous way of celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Residents at Pendine Park’s Bryn Seiont Newydd dementia centre in Caernarfon have watched the gardening team transform a grassy area in front of the state-of-the art facility into a rose garden over the past few months.
Local landscape gardener Gwilym Roberts, who is overseeing the project, said the centrepiece of the new area will be the new Elizabeth (Ausmajesty) shrub rose which should be in full bloom in time for the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.
Developed by expert growers at the well-known David Austin Roses, the new rose has been named in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the approval of the Royal Household as the nation celebrates 70 years since the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952.
Gwilym said ‘”It will make a commanding presence in the Bryn Seiont Newydd garden, thanks to its notable repeat flowering.
“It’s pale pink to apricot flowers will have a strong, sweet fragrance with hints of lemon sherbet and Old Rose when they open during the next few weeks.
“And with careful handling and regular dead-heading the roses will continue to flower throughout the summer and into the autumn.” he added.
Work began last autumn when three new beds were opened and prepared.
The roses were planted after the soil had been thoroughly rotovated and mulched with plenty of organic material.
The two beds alongside the Elizabeth roses have been planted with other rose bushes from the David Austin range which will complement the new plant.
“They were planted late last year and in the past few weeks have really come on with their dark green leaves shining and the first buds appearing. The rose is due to flower from early June but the recent mild weather means we should see the roses flowering in the next fortnight,” he said.
Admiring the hard work put into creating the new rose beds Bryn Seiont Newydd resident David Edwards said: “It’s blooming marvellous.”
Bryn Seiont Newydd care practitioner Audrey Phillips added: “The residents can’t wait to see the roses burst into flower.”
A spokesman for David Austin Roses, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, said the new Elizabeth rose has already proven so popular that both the bare root rose and potted rose variations have sold out and new stocks are being grown at their sprawling premises near Cosford in Shropshire.
From weeding and mowing the lawns to edging the neat flower beds, Gwilym, who has been working at Bryn Seiont Newydd since the centre opened in 2015, is kept busy keeping the grounds neat and tidy.
During the past few years he has also been planting banks of spring bulbs, an area full of flowering shrubs and planting hedges to provide wind breaks.
Wooden benches are sited here and there to provide residents and carers somewhere to sit with their family and friends and enjoy the fresh air.
“It’s a large site and it’s quite a lot of work, there’s always something to do,” he added.
Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE said: “As a place to visit, or explore, or spend quiet time in alone, a garden is important to people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“The presence of plants and flowers can have a healing effect, stimulate reminiscing, and provide peace and quiet to help to ease stress, anxiety, agitation, and pain. Gardens and gardening are incredibly important and a constant feature throughout our life, especially so for older people and people affected by dementia.
“The importance of gardens increases especially as we get older, as a place to relax and recover, as well as receive multi-sensory stimulation from the environment around us.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the Elizabeth roses blossom so that we can celebrate the Queen’s momentous Platinum Jubilee in style.”
Bryn Seiont Newydd manager Sandra Evans added: “A garden can help people living with dementia enjoy socialising and connect with others.”