Green-fingered Lily encourages Hailsham people to grow their own

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Happy memories of a childhood in Canada came flooding back for eighty-seven-year-old Lily Hyman when she decided to create an edible garden at her East Sussex care home. Lily, who lives at Abbots Wood Manor Care Home on London Road, is now encouraging others to do the same.

The former nurse was first inspired to garden by her husband, a keen gardener, with whom she’d spend hours planting, weeding and pruning. She now wants her fellow residents to become more self-sustainable with their new edible garden and encourage others to get digging.

Lily said: “As a child I was always helping my parents in the garden in Canada, and we had to get our plants in early so they could grow before the hard winters set in.

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“We always had a wonderful garden with crops we could eat. We are lucky here at Abbots Wood Manor because we have a lot of space, and there are a few of us who can help make the garden thrive.

Lily in the gardenLily in the garden
Lily in the garden

“However, you can plant herbs in small window boxes or a tub and these can make all the difference to a meal. You don’t have to have a lot of space.”

Lily cannot wait to see how the mint, oregano, thyme and rosemary will grow and is looking forward to talking to the home chef about some recipes.

Regional Community Relations at Abbots Wood Manor, Richard Hollands, said: “There are so many advantages to growing your own - it’s local, we can avoid plastic, and it’s always fresh.

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Gardening is such a relaxing hobby too as well as being a nice social activity. If people want to come and look at our herb garden, they can give us a ring, and we will happily show them how we have done it.”