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Dementia care home comes up roses!

Specialist dementia care home Linden House Lymington wins closely fought garden produce show contest between New Forest Colten Care homes 

Linden House gardener Chris Marsh adds extra soil for potatoes, working with residents on an entry for the Colten Annual Village Produce Show

More than 200 residents at the 21 Colten Care homes in the south have taken part in a competition focused on gardening, horticulture and outdoor inspiration.

The third annual Colten Village Produce Show was described as the ‘best yet’ by Colten Care Head Gardener Charles Hubberstey.

People with dementia enjoy and excel in activities like music and art - and as in this story, gardening!

First place went to Outstanding-rated Lymington dementia care home Linden House, followed closely by Abbotts Barton in Winchester with Braemar Lodge in Salisbury coming third.

Homes chose ten out of 15 categories for submitting entries, which were photographed and uploaded to an online image library ahead of judging.

Categories included ‘A Tussy-Mussy’ (arranging a posie of flowering annuals, herbs or perennials) and ‘Heave Ho!’ (growing the largest beetroot possible).

The show embraced baking and preserve and condiment making using garden ingredients.

At the same time, residents got creative with garden-themed paintings, sketches, photography and creative writing.

Further categories included making decorative items such as ornaments, birdbaths and wind chimes from upcycled garden materials.

Charles said: “The show is an ideal, hands-on opportunity for our residents, gardeners and Companions to come together in a year-round celebration of garden-inspired creativity.Linden House resident Pat Johnson watering the strawberries.

Skills and efforts of residents are humbling

The results always amaze us. It’s humbling to see the skills our residents have and the effort and detail that goes into the entries.

“We have improved every year despite the impact of the pandemic. This show was the best yet and I believe next year will be even bigger and better.”

Homes competed to achieve a maximum of 224 points across their ten categories. Linden House scored 192, just four points ahead of Abbotts Barton and six above Braemar Lodge.  

Contributing to the score for Linden House was a painting of a local scene by resident Nigel Bendell who said: “Producing the painting has put me in the mood to pursue it as a hobby. I was very surprised we won first place as I had no idea how good our competitors would be. It was great to share my success with my family.”


Top: Linden House gardener Chris Marsh adds extra soil for potatoes, working with residents on an entry for the Colten Annual Village Produce Show.

Below: Linden House resident Pat Johnson watering the strawberries.

Find out more about Colten Care

With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company. It has 21 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care. Seven of the homes are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and Colten Care earns a consistently high group score, currently 9.9 out of ten, on the public review site Based on such third-party advocacy, Colten Care is the UK’s highest-rated care home group for its size.

All Colten Care homes are registered for nursing care

Excellent nurse led careAll homes are registered for nursing care and four are dedicated dementia care homes with Admiral Nurse support. Unlike people who receive domiciliary care in their own homes, residents in Colten Care homes have the reassurance that 24/7 nurse-led care with companionship is on hand whenever they need it. Residents live in the highest standards of accommodation, enjoying homecooked food, fresh laundry and housekeeping services, and safe, peaceful and inspiring gardens. Colten Care also supports residents to raise thousands of pounds for charities of their choice every year. Founded more than 35 years ago, Colten Care has won multiple awards for the quality of its care and remains an independent, family-owned care home provider. For more information, visit

Three Colten Care homes in the New Forest are rated outstanding

Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the New Forest, three of which are rated Outstanding and three of which are in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House (Outstanding). There are also homes in Brockenhurst -Woodpeckers (Outstanding), New Milton - Kingfishers (Outstanding) and Mudeford - Avon Reach. Click on the links to find out more about each home... 

Colten Care's Avon Reach    Colten Care Court Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Linden House Lymington 

Colten Care Belmore Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Kingfishers New Milton    Colten Care Woodpeckers Brockenhurst




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