Recently some of the residents have been involved in introducing a herb garden under the kitchen window in the grounds of Hilltop House. As you can see from the pictures, as well as being a practical addition to the gardens, it is also lovely to look at with different colours and smells.

During Horticulture sessions with Alistair, Pete and Elliot, the residents have introduced a wide variety of herbs to the area where there was previously lavender. The lavender, although very pretty to look at attracted a great many bees (which is wonderful, but not in this area of the grounds) and was encroaching on the path way which was not ideal when the path is in constant use. So with this in mind, the idea of a herb garden was formed.

Residents’ dug up the lavender and made good the area, levelling and adding shingle. Raised beds were made and painted and different herbs were chosen to be included. In the beds are Garden Mint (Moroccan mint), Apple mint, Lemon Thyme, Oregano, Bay, Rosemary, Sorrel, Parsley, Basil, Chives, Garlic Chives, Fennel and Sage.

Chris, Tina, Kim and Szilvia in the kitchen regularly pick the herbs to use in dishes for both residents and staff. There are a variety of dishes, including Salmon with a parsley sauce which is a big hit with everyone! As well as the horticulture sessions, the herbs are also finding a purpose in sensory sessions which then leads on to recollection, association, nostalgia etc.