Green-fin­gered Ron turns yard into gar­den par­adise

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - School Report - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

saw­illiams@thek­m­ Sum­mer rays have been shin­ing down on a new gar­den at a care home for the el­derly, de­signed by a fel­low res­i­dent.

Green fin­gered Ron Smith, 92, has been a res­i­dent at the Sin­gle­ton Nurs­ing Home for the last five months.

How­ever, bored with be­ing cooped up in­side, ac­tive Ron took it on him­self to start his very own pro­ject.

He said: “I don’t like be­ing trapped in­doors. So I asked if there was some­thing I could do and I’ve al­ways liked gar­den­ing.”

As­sisted by staff nurse Ju­dith Foster, Ron made sev­eral trips to B&Q to buy all the equip­ment he needed, in­clud­ing com­post, plants and seeds.

Now, the once plain court­yard at the Hox­ton Close home is lined with flow­ers, veg­eta­bles and herbs.

“I pretty much live out here now, tend­ing to the gar­den and wa­ter­ing the plants,” Ron said.

As well as hang­ing bas­kets and wall troughs filled with sweet peas, the gar­den fea­tures chives and toma­toes.

Ron, who lived in Kingsnorth for the past 30 years with wife Jean, added: “It makes the place bright and cheer­ful and ev­ery­one can en­joy it.”

When he isn’t out­side, Ron likes to watch TV and do puzzles. Be­fore re­tir­ing, the fa­ther-of-one worked as a jew­eller in Lon­don, and be­fore that he served in the army for 20 years.

Julie Laidlaw, man­ager of the care home, said: “We are think­ing of putting Ron on the pay role. The gar­den is only a lit- tle space but it is look­ing re­ally good and all the res­i­dents tend to con­gre­gate out there. Plus, I now get fresh sweet peas in my of­fice ev­ery day, which is so lovely.”

Ron is work­ing on plans to ex­tend the gar­den next year.

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM2692321

Ron Smith, 92, cen­tre, with, from left, Dorothy Red­path, Gor­don Luck, Julie Laidlaw, Trevor Jones, Alf New­man and Lu­cielle Carl­ton at Sin­gle­ton Nurs­ing Home

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