Linda and the Home Buddies

Thursday 25 of May

It not all work and no outings out


Tuesday 23 of  May

Well the sun is out I already put sunblock on and a baseball cap this morning on my arms and face

as you noticed in last weeks photos we  started planting out the alicante tomatoes and we finished  doing that this morning then sowed some scarlet globe radish and white lisbon onions  were some savoy cabbages are already planted

The Fruit Cage

Hoping to do a bit more to our fruit cage next week it requires more netting for the top and sides

we are asking for donations from the friends and family of the clients to help spread the cost out.

(Money, plants or fruit trees).


Also if anybody would like to donate we would be grateful for bee and butterfly loving plants and herbs  so we can really turn this into a nice place to seat  and listen to the wildlife.

18 of May 2017 Thursday

Thursday the 11 of May


NEW FRUIT AREA new fruit cage area.JPG


Well it was a busy morning started in the wildlife area putting in a small pond but for got to take photo of it planted some poppy plants and some flower plants  Mary was out at an appointment so I just potted on I also put up a notice making sure folk are aware that we have a wildlife area and that it not just a garden bird feeding area station and we prefer not to use any form of weedkiller spray when you can use vinegar if needs be to contain some of the weeds If you do not want them then i had a call coming from the greenhouse area which was Janet  then I helped her plant some lettuces out in the trugs

Planted some beetroot out and planted some runner beans out for her  and she would like another rhubarb from me and would like me to bring one in next  I am in ether Tuesday or next Thursday


 I Have finally managed to complete all the paperwork / forms, so I now help out under the care home banner.

I did not get a lot of actual gardening done this morning in ether gardens the wild, the patio or the greenhouse due to the bad weather.

Sorry no photos today lots going on but ran out of time to take any but will try next week

I think also the sign I made 3 weeks asking the Gardner not to spray ago fell down, so back to the drawing board how to keep it up, so everyone can see it need a couple more as well to remind the main gardeners not to spray in that area again.

I had a great time looking forward to next week.

Thursday the 6/4/2017

Well I was heartbroken when I heard how without thinking the monthly trained gardeners were that come and cut the grass and weed the boarders use some weed killer near a wildlife area I have not got around myself to putting up a notice but working on it

Thinking of something like this

this morning to take in on Wednesday when apart from re taking photos and gardening, Janet’s greenhouse is getting very full and we have a small veg patch just outside the greenhouse

now, we fill the big troughs up with compost but have not planted anything in them as yet.

I sowed 3 packs of annuals this afternoon has not got the pond in the garden done like I was thinking of doing this morning but the day has not ended yet.

You can sow these directly in the ground so this lot might be for the home I just sown or a make a mixture up of all 3 and scatter around some of the wildlife area and front borders?

I have changed the title as i am not under the grow buddies scheme from today and the Care home have kindly said they would love me to continue so just waiting for paper work to be done .

well i cut the sunflowers down yesterday and planted to rhubarb both I brought from home for the care home  and hopeful soon they will use the produce that we are growing  in the home.

they have put a concrete base down ready for a tool shed whether i be able to use it as potting shed we will have to wait and see ? i put to more bags of compost in the veg trugs  and left one full bag on top of one of them to hold the liner down  .

I put Mary bee hotel up and must put or get some one to put the bird box up but i want it so Mary can see if anything goes in it .

Janet was in hospital but came back after i left  so i will have a catch hopefully next week  with her and plant out the sweet peas for her nearly did it today then forgot  to as it was lunch time

Well just  had the new raised beds arrive and put up in the patio area Janet went shopping with Claire to order her grow bags and one or to other items and come back with a lovely bag with tools in

it easier to make a movie to show the photos i have taken from the home

had 2 weeks  off as Claire need to take her 2 weeks Holiday before April and it gave me time to try and fully recover as i did look awful 4 weeks a go when i last went in

heared some good news not sure when it happens but the home has been granted 2 raised beds  for the home  which is awesome news  to my ears  i am still hoping Escape project might come and do some willow weaving for us to brighten a green hedge


Green-fingered residents at Westfields Care Home in Swaffham are growing fresh produce for the table, and colourful plants for communal areas, thanks to advice and support from Breckland Growing Buddy Linda Penney who visits the Home every week. Linda is one of nine Breckland Growing Buddies, a Breckland Council scheme which encourages older residents and those at risk of social isolation to keep active and enjoy the benefits of growing and gardening activities. Breckland Council leader William Nunn said: “Gardening is a great way for older residents to keep active and eat more healthily.”

Read more at:

Thursday 13 of December 2016

Well when I arrived this morning Janet was looking so down in the dumps in the dining room and when I went and put my arm round her face lifted up and so my plan of seed tape making went out the window

As Janet, had been waiting to fill some hanging baskets up to put some pansy’s in even though she had some basket compost in she wanted to use our organic compost in the basket with added bone meal which I thought was nice

The plants were looking all good in the greenhouse as I had not seen them for two weeks as being ill last week so had to miss going

Mary was also pleased to see me I for to take photo but I reported 3 leaves for her of a plant that had been caught on the curtain

While over lunch met, a lovely Lady called Doris who used to work on the land as land girl in the war plus grow up on the farm as a child

Was told when she was younger helped her father and grandfather planting potatoes and Brussels together so as you harvest the potatoes   you cover the Brussels with the soil as you lift the potatoes at harvest time

Tuesday 22 of November (week9)

Once Claire and I arrived today we booked in and said hello to everyone

Then we moved two shower glass doors that her father kindly brought up the other day to the home to make a cloche with or cold frame will have a word with my friends at Escape to see if they can help I am not that good at making thing with wood!

One of my first jobs I did was put a paper clip on the Strawberry runners but forgot to take a photo after I did it .

Then I helped Mary with her indoor plants one need repotting and it had a pup so I made a second plant for her

Then I tidied the other plants that had brown leaves on and took them of and got a lovely big tray for her plants with out a saucer on so she can water safely but forgot to take a photo but will next week when I go in
There are only a few photos to day and their from Mary’s indoor plants


I got my normal lift as normal thank you very much Claire indeed.

Arrived at the home and started with the most important act Coffee as Janet has got me hooked on Cappuccino.

It was a drizzly  day with rain on and off took compost lid of so the rain could keep compost damp but not wet (helps to break it down).

Then went to say hello to my ladies,  after taking photographs of what the children did last week(spider and strawberry plants)  I take some paper clips in with me to peg the runners down in small pots  then I replanted a fuchsia.

I the did a bit of weeding by where the hose pipe is kept, then as it started to rain a itt heavy I came inside and had a coffee break. I did take a photo of this hedge that we need to buy to bring some colour to the garden plus it might help me with ideas.
As it was damp and the ladies were not that keen on coming out so I potted about on my own in the greenhouse.

I moved the broken bench ready for making bug hotels for the wildlife.

The raised bed still needs mending see if I can burrow a hammer and nails to mend it myself.
Then it was home time.
Will be going in on Tuesday 22 of November as it my own garden club meeting on the Thursday  Christmas  wreath demo I believe

Thank you joining on this journey  blessing to you all until next time.

Thursday the 10 November 2016

Well as I said last week I would be going in this afternoon as we had some local school children coming from The Nicholas Hammond  Grammar School Located in Swaffham.
We had 4 students turn up and they were very nice and helpful one went and chatted to a resident and the girls firstly brought some spider plants from the patio area take to the craft room but I forgot to take a photo then we planted 3 strawberry plants just before it rained and got dark but I will take the photo’s of the strawberry’s planted and spider plants next week when I go back in for the gallery.

Michelle kindly took me in as she had a question form to be fill in plus wanted some photos as part of the press coverage Breckland would like to do shortly

Thursday 3rd November 2016

Grow Buddies Blog

Part 6
Well what a great day, I spent the morning at the care home in Swaffham where I volunteer as a grow buddy. I arrived and met Clare, Janet and Mary in the lounge where we had a nice chat over coffee.
Ooops forgot to mention that Breckland council want to interview me on my time and experience working with Grow Buddies.
I then accompanied Janet to the green house where we I assisted her in taking cuttings of geraniums which we placed in pots that we had prepared ready (32) of them.
I then went to see Mary in her room and we had chat about the wildlife and birds she had seen during the week outside her window, I also took the opportunity to discuss the possibility of her being interviewed by Breckland council as part of my work on behalf of Grow Buddies.
As it was now nearly lunch time I accompanied Mary to the dining room we had lunch (Pea & Ham Soup, Sausage & Mash followed by Sponge and Custard) with a lovely Cappuccino.
Clare then came and found me as it was time to go, I said goodbye to Janet & Mary and we left.
Looking forward to next week going in a bit later as the home is hosting some school children who are working with me in the garden.

Thursday 27 of October 2016

It was my own monthly garden club hence i went to the care home on Tuesday

but look who came and visited our garden club


Claire and Janet and Mary from the care home it was such a surprise

 Tuesday 25 of October 2016

Once I arrived to day with it  being on the chilly side I had a  Cappuccino  while having it I talked to Janet who was away last week  ,

then once I finished  it I went round to the greenhouse were just out side  we have a compost bin but I would not let any one use it until l had put some plastic mesh underneath it had no chicken wire .

While I was doing that Janet come out to the greenhouse and potted on some pansy’s

then I went to find someone with the key to the patio area from the greenhouse area ,so

I could move the bamboo to the side of the summerhouse that I tidied up last week

I  forgot to take photo of the two small trees I potted on for Mary  left them in water last week then i went and gave Mary the copies of the fungi  that I took last week.

Then Janet and I went to pull up the geraniums so Janet could take cuttings for next year

I then went and got two more Cappuccino ‘s as we missed the tea trolley going round

then it was a quick tidy up of the patio area then it was lunch time

soup of the day celery and red onion

stew and dumplings

then stewed fruit and Custard

then it was sadly my time to say good bye UN till next week   when I be back in on the Thursday  morning


Was kindly pick up by Claire.
Janet was away who grows things in the greenhouse for week .
So I went and chatted to Mary the one who loves the wildlife who showed me the things she need to have dug up before some one else through them away as weeds.

This is how my day planed out

I gathered the rest the poppy heads which we may spray gold or sliver for Christmas then I picked all the bamboos from the area of first big bed forgot to take photo of them sorry but left them near the greenhouse as could not get in with the wheel barrow , when we go through them that we can not use for peas and beans we will make small bug hotels with them for the insects to hide over winter ,
One of Mary’s bird tables needs meaning the base is good it just the top bit that needs sorting out , there are two benches that need recycling into a big bug house as not safe to seat on anymore this will most likely go in the new wildlife area I am hoping to create watch this space as they say then it poured down heavily with rain so Coffee time that I had with Mary then I took some photos of fungi for Mary
Lunch was carrot and parsnip soup
Main sweet and sour chicken with side of veg
Lemon merquine pie

I will be going in on Tuesday this week as I have my own monthly garden club this Thursday

Thursday 13th October 2016

Well today was my third time as a volunteer Grow Buddy at the care home in Swaffham.

I was lucky enough to have Claire collect me and drop me back home

So here is how my day began when I arrived at the Care home

Coffee, followed by Janet ( one of the residents) and I going for a walk around the Garden and patio area, we decided to move a bench to a new location under the trees so that Janet could move around in her wheel chair.

We the came across an abandoned catering trolley, so we cleaned it up and moved into the greenhouse and are using it as a storage unit for compost and plants that are almost ready for potting on.

Janet potted on some giant pansies that she had grown from seed.
More Coffee time, so Janet, I had a short break.

After the coffee break I went and found Mary ( another resident with an interest in wildlife) and we chatted about what she would like planted outside her windows so that she can see the various wildlife that visits when she is in her room.

After that I then proceeded to the greenhouse to finish giving Janet a hand to clear up before lunch.

I also planted 6 strawberry plants outside the summerhouse in large trough style planters and I also planted wildflowers under the bird table.

I was the invited to stay for lunch yummy soup, cottage pie followed by egg custard and fruit and of course coffee. I then said goodbye to them and left to go home. Looking forward to next week more fun in the greenhouse I suspect.

Thursday 06 October 2016

Today I started a new venture, I began working as a volunteer on behalf of Norfolk Grow Buddies at a care home in Swaffham.
My work is to assist the residents of the care home with their gardening activities, from simple potting of plants to helping out in the greenhouse and planting vegetables in the garden.
On my day I assisted a resident called Janet and helped her to move some Courgette plants from cell trays to the planting strip inside the greenhouse at ground level. Whilst we where working in the greenhouse another resident called Mary came over to say hello and introduce herself and brought a plant in for Janet, Mary is into wildlife and hopes I will be able to help her in sowing plants that will attract additional wildlife into the garden. We then gathered the flower seeds that Janet had been saving and we scattered them in the raised bed located in the main garden. I then had a coffee break including the consumption of a bacon sandwich (yummy) with ketchup.
Then Janet and I scattered a bag of multipurpose compost on the seeds on the raised bed.

Surprisingly my 3 hours where up and it was time to leave and return home, it’s amazing when you are doing something you enjoy how quickly time flies.
Looking forward to next week.

Tuesday 27th September 2016
Today I went to a care home in Swaffham as part of the Grow Buddies Scheme.
Michelle (the scheme co- originator ) and I went along to see what we could offer the residents in the way of supporting their garden.
We met several of the residents , had a really great time enjoyed a lunch and came up with several ideas.
I am going to go once a week and my role will be to assist and encourage the residents in their gardening, growing and help in keeping them active.

I am planing to go in once a week may be a morning or afternoon on ether a Tuesday or a Thursday  I have not made my mind up .


Michelle and Claire digging up the red and white  potatoes their had grown earlier in the  year

I did not take a photo of the potatoes we dig up jointly  ( silly me)

so please join me on this new journey off mine here is one other photo off one  part of the garden


this will be wildflower and some scented flowers