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Lockdown Was a Bed Of Roses For One Retiree From Penwortham

Hobbies and interests
Posted 21 September 2020
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Lockdown was a bed of roses for one retiree from Penwortham

When gardening enthusiast and Parkinson’s UK fundraiser, Mrs Hilary Wheale, decided to downsize from her four bedroom bungalow to some where a little bit more manageable, the one thing she thought she would miss was her large garden, and not least during lockdown when many of us sought solace there.

Fortunately, McCarthy Stone’s Hardwick Grange in Penwortham offered the perfect solution to enable her to keep her green-fingers happy and help to pass the time during lockdown.

Hilary, who is in her early seventies, comments: “I’d been living on my own for 15 years and it was getting difficult to keep on top of everything. My daughters live quite far away, so I decided to move somewhere easier to maintain and in turn, give me more time to do the things I enjoy.

“I’ve always loved gardening, so when I realised some of the apartments at Hardwick Grange had patios, it was the perfect choice for me. I’ve been able to keep up my hobby on a smaller scale and have lots of pot plants, as well as a trellis filled with flowers in decorative planters. From roses and begonias to petunias, geraniums, cyclamen and pansies, I’ve got enough room for all my favourites!”

“In 2007 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but that hasn’t stopped me living life to the full. As well as gardening, I am also an active fundraiser for the Preston branch of Parkinson’s UK and help run their fundraising activities whenever I can including supermarket collections, making raffle prizes, helping out at meetings and organising guest speakers. Before Covid-19 put all our lives “on hold” there was always something to be done.”

When the lockdown was imposed in March, it was Hilary’s first spring at Hardwick Grange, but she describes it as the best possible timing.

She explains: “The thought of being on my own in my previous home and not able to go out didn’t bear thinking about. Instead being at Hardwick Grange meant that even though we were restricted, I could keep busy attending to a section of our communal garden here, planting summer bedding, shrubs and re-designing the edging. It was a wonderful relief during lockdown, and along with the upkeep of my patio was certainly enough to keep me busy. It’s safe to say I don’t miss my old garden at all!”

She continues: “Knowing there were other people around, waving across the garden to one another and having daily interaction with the House Manager here was a blessing.

“Gardening offers a lovely sense of satisfaction and I enjoy watching things grow. It’s good exercise too! I’ve already been making plans for what to plant next spring and bought some daffodil and tulip bulbs!

“I’ve made some great friends here at Hardwick Grange and am glad that they too have the chance to enjoy my efforts as much as I do, the garden is for the enjoyment of everyone. I’ve had some lovely feedback from the other residents so far.”

Now things have begun to return to normal at Hardwick Grange with the easing of the restrictions, Hilary is keen to make the most of her new surroundings. She comments: “I’m looking forward to when we can all start enjoying some of our Social Events in the communal lounge together, such as themed evenings, quizzes, Pimms on the patio and entertaining talks. In the meantime, we’re all enjoying sitting in the garden at a distance and having a good old catch up!”

Facilities at Hardwick Grange include a stunning homeowners ’lounge, ideal for socialising with friends; beautifully landscaped gardens in which to relax; and a convenient guest suite, should homeowners have friends or relatives to stay. A House Manager is on hand to take care of the day-to-day running of the development, while a 24-hour emergency call system will provide added peace-of-mind.

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