Gardening Advice

Less maintenance can mean less stress

Caring for a garden should be an enjoyable activity that calms the mind and brings you closer to the natural world. To achieve
this try to minimise the tasks that you do not enjoy, or that you cannot cope with. It may be that your life circumstances have
changed, due to health or injury. This is a time to re-think how you care for a garden, and what you hope to get from
gardening. Most importantly, remember that it is your garden, and it is up to you what sort of garden you create, and how much
work you want to put into it.

This information aims to provide some ideas on low-maintenance gardens, how to adapt a garden to meet your needs, and how to
create a garden that encourages wildlife (which can help you with your gardening chores). Many people believe that as they get
older, or their health changes, gardening is something that they can no longer enjoy. Even the smallest of spaces can allow a
few pots for cultivation, and nurturing plants can be a therapeutic activity that contributes towards recovery following

Let nature do the work

To minimise the work involved in gardening, take advantage of natures own pest controls. Grow plants that encourage animals and
birds into your garden, and enjoy that contact with the natural world. Ladybirds are well known for their capacity for eating
greenfly, lacewings and hoverflies do the same. Frogs are wonderful slug killers, and you do not need a huge pond to introduce
frogs into your garden. A small (1 foot) hole, lined with plastic, is sufficient for frogs to exist. Even a large bowl or old
sink will do the job. Add some oxygenating pondweed, and even some tiny fish, and you will have a micro pond that will
encourage wildlife and keep down slugs.

Plants for wildlife

• Buddleia (Butterfly bush) – leaves and flowers are food for Butterflies.

• Anything with berries will feed birds which can be especially good in winter.

• Plants with wide, open flowers encourage Hoverflies and Bees.

• Nettles are essential food for certain Butterflies.

• A pile of old logs and twigs provide winter refuge for a host of beneficial insects.

Wild flowers and native plants are ideally situated to their situation, and will require little or no attention. They will
encourage bees, birds and butterflies into your garden. Some wildflowers are now so rare in the countryside that they only
survive thanks to gardeners giving up a small part of their garden.

Adapt your garden to meet your needs

Decide what you want from a garden, and then build a garden to meet your needs. Ask yourself:

• Do you really need a large lawn? Lawns require more care than any part of a garden.

• Have you considered using hard landscaping (gravel etc.) with a few choice pots? Even a sunny windowsill allows space to
cultivate a few special plants.

Help to maintain your garden

Help & Care Handiworks Plus (available to residents of Bournemouth, Poole, East Dorset, Christchurch and Purbeck)

Handiworks Plus is available to anyone over the age of 18 living in the Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, East Dorset and
Purbeck areas. Members of Handiworks Plus can call one number 0300 111 3303 and report any repairs or household maintenance
issues and we will arrange for an appropriate police checked tradesperson who is skilled in their trade to carry out the work

The Handiworks Team provide experienced, competitively priced trades people and will arrange all works on your behalf. The
contractual relationship for each job is between you (the Handiworks Plus member) and the tradesperson. Handiworks Plus is a
social enterprise, this means that 100% of any profits from the service provided by Handiworks Plus will fund Help and Care’s
charitable work. Membership of Handiworks Plus costs £30 a year. The services available include:

General Handyman – small building works and maintenance, build flat pack furniture, fit draught proofing, put up curtain
rails/blinds, moving furniture within the home, hanging mirrors and pictures, clearing gutters.

Electrical – rectifying loss of light or power, installing and repairing sockets and lights, fixing/replacing doorbells,
installing outside security lights, installing power to new areas.

Carpentry – Door and window repairs, door furniture fitting and repairs, shelves fitted, skirting and architrave installation,
repairs to sheds, fence and gate installation or repair.

Plumbing – Tap repairs and replacement, bath and sink traps unblocked, internal leaks fixed, WC flushing faults rectified,
radiators bled, baths and sinks sealed, washing machines and dishwashers plumbed in.

Security and Safety – Window and door locks, spy holes and door chains fitted, smoke detectors, supply and fit key safes, grab

Gardening – Weeding, mowing lawns, planting flowers and shrubs, trimming hedges, pruning. Arrangements can be made with our
CRB checked gardeners to do regular work.

Gas and central heating – rectifying loss of heating, rectifying loss of hot water, repair faulty radiator valves,
installation of boilers, gas cookers and fires, servicing boilers and gas fires.

Painting and decorating – internal and external painting, wallpapering, woodwork painting/staining, tiling, small areas of

Flooring – carpet and vinyl fitted, laminate and ceramic floor tiles laid.

Roots - via Help & Care

Roots is a local, honest, professional gardening service provided by a supervised group of volunteer trainees recovering from
mental distress. Roots is a social enterprise and any profit made is gifted to Help and Care so that the charity can continue
to provide help and support to people in the local community. The team work five days a week and is supervised by a Garden
Services Worker.

Who can use Roots?

• Older people who can no longer manage their garden due to various reasons such as illness or disability

• Organisations and businesses in need of gardening and ground maintenance

Services include:

• Mowing lawns

• Strimming edges

• Hedge trimming

• Moderate pruning of small trees and shrubs

• Planting and weeding

• Sweeping up leaves

• Turfing

• Laying small paving stones

Roots can also help with garden alterations to reduce garden maintenance or to enable people to maintain their own gardens. For
further information and details of charges contact Roots at Help & Care on 0300 111 3303.


Sensory Gardens

A sensory garden is a garden that is created specifically to stimulate some or all of our senses. They are usually aimed at
people who have some of their senses impaired, for example a garden may be particularly fragrant and have striking
juxtapositions of colour for people who have a visual impairment. Sensory gardens do not have to be exclusively for those whose
senses are impaired. One of the joys of gardening is the sensory enjoyment of the scents, colours and foliage of different

Gardening on a budget

Many gardeners welcome the opportunity to share their passion with others. If you are gardening on a tight budget, it may be
worth joining a local gardening group. This will enable you to swap plant cuttings, seeds, and other ideas with other
gardeners. Look out for car boot sales and fetes where you may find bargains. Visits to municipal tips can provide a variety of
unusual containers for plants, at very little cost, and at some tips you are able to purchase eco-friendly mulch for your

Low maintenance advice for your garden

• Raised beds and containers help to reduce strain to your back and require less digging. Try to situate them near to a water
supply to avoid carrying heavy watering cans over long distances.

• Lawns tend to require intensive maintenance, could you reduce the size of your lawn, or let part of it grow long to create a
wild flower meadow area?

• Ground cover: any plant can be grown as ground cover. If a plant is growing in the right conditions it will thrive and force
out other plants. Growing plants in tight clumps or drifts, leaving no space for weeds to establish.

Most importantly, enjoy your garden. Make it a space that works for you, and make caring for it an enjoyable and rewarding

Local gardening clubs and organisations

Allotments – Poole

There are eight allotment sites throughout the Borough of Poole. Water tanks are provided at all sites during the growing
season, and most sites are locked to aid security. You must be a permanent resident of Poole to be eligible for an allotment.
To apply to go on the waiting list contact:
Continental Landscapes Ltd, Poole Depot – Tel: 01202 683011
Leisure Services, 30-32 Northmead Drive, Creekmoor, Poole, BH17 7RP

Broadstone Horticultural Society

Conservative Club
Tudor Road

Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from September – April at 7:00pm. Talks, garden visits, Spring and Summer shows, Summer
outings. Membership £4. For further details contact: Membership Secretary, Mr R Langley, Tel: 01202 698720.

Parkstone Gardeners Society

St Aldhelm’s Centre
BH12 1AD

Meets: 3rd Tuesday of the month January – November at 7.30pm. Lectures on garden related subjects, plant sales, flower shows,
outings. Membership £13 per annum.

Sheltered Work Opportunities Project (SWOP)

Cherry Tree Nursery
Off New Rd Roundabout
BH10 7DA
Tel: 01202 593537
Fax: 01202 590626

SWOP is a registered charity offering supportive work, rehabilitation to over 100 adults with severe and enduring mental
illness. Cherry Tree is a shrub nursery growing 120,000 plants annually. Plants are on sale to the general public, opening
hours are:

Monday – Friday, 8am – 3.30pm
Saturday, 9am – 3pm (Summer), 9am – 12pm (Winter).

Useful local organisations

The Leonardo Trust

5 Dunyeats Rd
BH18 8AA
Tel: 01202 698325

Useful national organisations


The Geoffrey Udall Centre
Beech Hill
Tel: 0118 988 5688
Fax: 0118 988 5677

Gardening can help anyone with a disability. Through its research, education and promotional activities, Thrive aims to show
how, why and where people with a disability can benefit.

Gardening magazines available on tape

There are a number of gardening magazines that are available on tape and CD for people who are blind or visually impaired. Most
audio publications are now available online, including over 200 newspaper and magazines for a subscription.

The Talking Newspaper Association

National Recording Centre
East Sussex
TN21 8DB
Tel: 01435 866102

Weekly: Amateur Gardening
Monthlies: BBC Gardeners World; Garden Answers; The Garden RHS; Which Gardening and Homes and Gardens.

National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS)

Osborne House
12 Devonshire Square
Tel: 0207247 5567

List UK clubs offering education and events to promote art and personal enjoyment of flower arranging. With links to Dorset,
Guernsey, Wessex and Jersey (Christchurch area).


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