Groundsman praised after care home garden in Dursley wins national award

Gazette Series: John Ashforth in one of the winning gardens at Henlow Court Care Home in Dursley John Ashforth in one of the winning gardens at Henlow Court Care Home in Dursley

A GARDEN that encourages the elderly of Dursley to get out and about has scooped a national award.

Henlow Court Care Home has been given the award for best gardens and grounds by the Orders of St John Care Trust, which runs the home.

Henlow Court beat off competition from 79 other care homes from within the Trust to take the national accolade after winning the regional award for the best gardens and grounds for Gloucestershire.

However, Henlow Court’s success is being put down to the hard work of one man, John Ashforth, 65, who has been groundsman at the home for the past five years.

He said: "The grounds have been a long story. Over five years I’ve brought them back from the wilderness.

"It has been a lot of work and a lot of fundraising as well - because we are a charitable trust the money isn’t so readily available."

During the past five years, with the help of volunteer Kevin Nash, John has created a sensory garden for the residents at Henlow Court with water features and an aviary.

Residents have also been encouraged to get involved and have helped with some of the planting.

Despite being retirement age John said he plans to keep gardening for a few more years yet.

He said: "I could have retired last month but I’m going on for a couple more years because I enjoy it so much."

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