All hands on board to bring some colour for the summer

Children, residents and staff got together to turn the flower beds at Devonshire House into something fabulous for summer.

A few months ago the communal gardens at Devonshire House needed a little bit of help to be able to grow any plants and make the area look colourful and fun. Local children and residents soon began to work in partnership with PCH and Grow Stonehouse to turn it into something everyone can enjoy.

Lily Urbanska, Project Coordinator for Grow Stonehouse explains: “Grow Stonehouse is a community project run by local charity Millfields Inspired and funded by the People’s Health Trust – which is an independent charity looking at health inequality across the UK.

“This project aims to support Stonehouse residents to meet new people, get active outdoors and help take care of our local green spaces which of course includes a lot of PCH land so we are working together on this.”

The area at Devonshire House started with the ground being cleared of weeds, taking care to leave in the flowers and daffodil bulbs that were planted last autumn. The ground was then raked and a wildflower seed mix planted which should start growing over the next four to six weeks.

Hayley Kemp, Communities Worker for PCH has been working in partnership on the project and said: “There’s a great community spirit down here and the children have really taken ownership of the garden. Now when they see me walking down their path they shout out the window to me asking if we’re doing any gardening today!”

Nick Lewis, Chair of the PCH Board was on weeding duty for his first visit to the garden. Nick said: “It’s a great way to get people outside, active and improving their own environment. As Hayley says the children are really interested in the gardening and with face painting on offer it is not surprising they outnumber the adults today! I’m really happy to see everyone supporting Lily and the Grow Stonehouse Project.”

Hayley Kemp continues: “It’s a project that has so many positives – the kids can spend time outdoors learning about gardening and different flowers, they want to get involved and because of that they take ownership of the flower beds, making sure they’re well looked after in between our visits.

“We’re looking at more options of how we can improve the area, such as adding some bike storage space with a living roof, some benches and more planting - the residents will be able to really enjoy the benefits of everyone’s hard work!”