The allotment – care home activity ideas

Activity ideas for care settings (with photographs you can print and use)

1. Poetry

Read our poem ‘The allotment’ from ‘Now tell me more about you…’ available from Amazon. Click here for further information:

The allotment

Measured squares and patchwork rows,

This is how the allotment grows.

Spades and rakes inside the shed,

Fertilizer so the soil is fed.

Curly broccoli standing tall,

Ripe tomatoes large and small,

Potatoes hiding in an earthy bed,

Seeds in boxes ready to be spread.

Soil and stones and straw around,

Covering the hardened winter ground.

Spring sees shoots popping out,

Flowers in bud are all about.

Summer and the ripening crop grows,

Shiny foil tops jingle away crows.

Autumn and the bounty’s found,

Wonderful produce from the ground.

Apples, blackberries, butternut squash,

Brussel sprouts, cabbages, carrots to wash,

Cauliflower, celery, kale and leek,

Onion, parsnips and turnips peek.

Once they’re gathered in the store,

Work on the allotment carries on as before,

Turning the soil, removing the weeds,

Checking the bulbs and planting the seeds.

Waiting for warmth, sun and rain,

Until the whole process starts again.

Measured squares and patchwork rows,

This is how the allotment grows.

2. Conversation starters


Allotments were very popular in the post-war period. It was difficult for some families to make ends meet and growing your own was an economical way to put delicious food on the table.

People were also used to wartime slogans like ‘Dig for Victory’ which encouraged growing your own vegetables as food was scarce.

Allotments, which are also popular now, were very useful for people who did not have large gardens or any garden at all. A sense of community developed in allotment areas and good friendships were made. People also shared ideas and made swaps such as bulbs for seeds, tomatoes for a bunch of sweet peas and runner beans for raspberries.

What vegetables are usually grown in an allotment?

Potatoes, carrots, leeks, lettuces, onions, runner beans, tomatoes, radishes, brussel sprouts, broad beans, cabbages…

What fruits are usually grown in an allotment?

Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, apples, pears, plums…

What flowers are usually grown on an allotment?

Candytufts, dahlias, chrysanthemums, roses, sweet peas, cornflowers, gladioli, zinnias, lupins….

Can you name the gardening equipment used on an allotment?

Spade, shovel, hoe, trowel, secataurs, gloves, fork, hosepipe, dibber, flowerpots, seed trays…

3. Arty Crafty

Collect pictures or photos of flowers, vegetables, fruits and allotments.

You can use these to make a collage.

Paint a picture of your favourite fruits and vegetables. For inspiration, use a search engine to find flower and vegetable paintings – there are a lot of colourful pictures for you to look at.

4. Musical Melodies

Listen to these pieces of music. They are all available on YouTube.

Flower Duet Delibes

Waltz of the flowers Tchaikovski

The lark ascending Vaughn Williams

All things bright and beautiful hymn

Daisy Bell Dacre (You can sing along with this one!)

5. Fragrances

There is a great sense of joy when an allotment owner turns the soil to reap the first potatoes of the year. The smell of the soil and the potatoes can be a heady combination. We love to smell tomatoes fresh from the vine, herbs such as basil and mint and of course soft ripe pears. These all have wonderful fragrances even though some may not look like the polished examples from supermarkets.

Find some herbs either fresh or dried. Can you recognise them without looking?

Here are some herbs you could use…

Basil, chives, rosemary, lavender, thyme, mint, coriander, dill, fennel, tarragon, sage and parsley.

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