A MONMOUTHSHIRE care home had its garden judged yesterday as part of a nationwide care home competition.

Cherry Tree Care Home in Caldicot, part of the Hallmark Care Homes group, was judged along with dozens of other care homes in the same group, as part of a long-running competition to promote the therapeutic benefits of gardening among older people.

The 36-resident home, managed by Gill Jones, has a number of hanging baskets and flowers in its garden which have been prepared over several months.

"The residents did most of the hanging baskets while sitting in the conservatory," said Ms Jones, who has been the manager since 2007 and manages 47 staff.

"We use the garden a lot, the residents enjoy it. We have had Skill Force Wales here and pupils from Dewstow Primary School come here regularly, they've painted stones and planted sunflowers.

"The residents particularly enjoy using their hands and it brings them together to have a chat and do something different."

In the garden residents and staff have planted petunias, lobelia, rose bushes, fruit bushes and also a herb garden.

Judging categories and criteria for this year's competition include hanging baskets, residents involvement and community involvement.

The home had a summer theme for their judging day, with a barbecue in the afternoon and residents wore summery clothes.

"We like having a garden that people can use not just to sit in but to have a better experience," said Ms Jones.

The home's last CSSIW report found it had a "very pleasant" environment, residents were treated with respect and dignity and were complimentary about staff attitude and commitment.