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Castle View retirement village in Windsor is throwing its doors open to visitors

This is a wonderful chance to avoid the queues at Windsor Castle and visit Castle View instead – to celebrate and share in its new garden.

Open Day is: Saturday 28 August, 12 noon – 5pm, free tea/coffee and cake

“We are really thrilled with what our property owners and residents have achieved in the short time they have been here, and only too keen to share these with others,” says Lisa Fisher, village manager.

“After visiting the garden, guests will be invited in for a cuppa and some cake and to meet some of our lovely homeowners.

To ensure a place, please call us on 01753 378127 so we know you’re coming.”

Before moving to Castle View last autumn, Janet Pickin exercised her green fingers at her farm in Winkfield, Berkshire.

There she had eight acres of land and gardens with flower beds, shrubs and trees plus a pond, and looked after it all herself assisted by her gardener Martin one day a week.

Janet lived at the farm for 35 years, and brought up her two children Mark and Kim there.

She has always kept herself busy.

As well as gardening and boats – she also owned Clewer Boatyard, now run by son, Mark – Jane  loves tennis (she plays at the Windsor Lawn Tennis Club next door to Castle View), baking and dog walking.

Her dog Dotty moved with her.

“While I had reached an age and stage where I needed to slow down a bit, I didn’t want to stop gardening completely,” she says.

“And having the opportunity to create my own courtyard garden right outside my apartment, was all part of deciding to move here.

“My gardener Martin continues to help me which is wonderful, and it’s been so successful that he now looks after other gardens here, too!”

Janet’s ‘top tips’ to planning and nurturing a downsized garden.

Know your soil – check what sort of soil your new plot features – clay, loam, sand, dry, wet etc. Dig in some compost or mulch.

This will enhance the growing potential and give the plants the best chance to get established and flourish more quickly.

Consider the aspect. North facing will be colder and wetter, whereas south facing will get the sun but may also dry out in long hot conditions and require more watering.

Decide on the planting, and remember plant height: small and low at the front, higher and bushier behind.

When going to the garden centre, look for a blend of perennials – plants that will last year after year, and annuals which will give you colour and variety for the season.

And don’t forget the flexibility and variety offered by having some pots at different heights as well as hanging or wall mounted baskets.

Watering is essential, so plan things according to where you are going to get water from, and remember: ‘little but often’, and water in the evening shade away from the direct sunlight of the day.

 

Castle View