Over the last seven years, the hard work of volunteer gardener Ian Farley has transformed the gardens at FitzRoy’s Donec Mews registered care home in Surrey.
We caught up with Ian last month as he prepared for the Hidden Gardens of Grayshott, a biannual event where homes in the area open their gardens to the general public. The Hidden Gardens team had just donated six cubic meters of compost to help prepare the garden, so Ian really had his hands full.
“All my efforts to create a beautiful garden for the people living here, their families, support staff and visitors will be seen by the general public. I am so proud of how the garden looks and the enjoyment everyone gets from seeing it in full bloom for most of the year. The feedback I always get from everyone seeing the garden is brilliant.
“In late spring of 2012, the gardens at Donec Mews were in need of attention and care. I had retired and was looking for something to do in my spare time. My daughter noticed an advertisement for a volunteer gardener and I made enquiries and started working in the gardens all around the Donec building. I work twice a week and it is fabulous having people appreciate, admire and make positive comments about the garden. They have now all been transformed and I get so much satisfaction from it, it is so rewarding. I am very proud of what I have achieved over nearly seven years on my own. I would recommend it to anyone. Many things have changed in the garden since I started, including the introduction of three hard slabbed areas for outside tables and chairs and a sensory area.
A previous Hidden Gardens visitor to Donec Mews said:
It was all so fascinating and inspiring for us and perhaps the thing that captured the spirit of Hidden Gardens best of all was the wonderful garden created by the volunteer gardener at Donec Mews for the pleasure of its residents. That felt like a very special place and so were the people working there.