Our Locations

Abberton Manor

  • Colchester
  • 01206 735590
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Astley Hall

  • Stourport-on-Severn
  • 01299 827020
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  • Hereford
  • 01432 263131
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Nowton Court

  • Bury St Edmunds
  • 01284 756610
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  • Worcestershire
  • 01299 403260
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The Lawns

  • Worcester
  • 01905 821388
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West Eaton

  • Leominster
  • 01568 610395
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Astley’s gardens and sensory garden

The gardens at Astley have recently been cultivated to include our sensory garden.

They were originally designed to reflect the prestigious house and its former owners; the High Sheriff of Worcestershire and then the late Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, the First Earl Baldwin of Bewdley.

Access is through a Tudor arch at the front of our home and there is a formal garden and a kitchen garden. The design best showcases the fabulous view over paddocks to the Malvern Hills beyond.

The gardens were largely preserved through the centuries and now our residents can enjoy them too. Certainly, the view always gives a moment to pause and enjoy the beauty around us.

The view at Astley with a horse

The view at Astley

lady resident in purple striped top enjoying the view at Astley

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the gardens

We have a large flat lawn close to the house, with a patio and tables and chairs for our residents. When the weather is fine, many residents enjoy spending time outside.

There is a large summer house, full of parasols and garden games. It’s a lot of fun recreating the fun of the fayre with hook a duck and garden skittles.

We have a BBQ area and residents love eating alfresco, particularly our chefs homemade kebabs.

eating al-fresco at astley

eating al-fresco at Astley

BBQing kebabs at Astley

BBQing kebabs

The sensory garden

There is no doubt that our gardens have visual appeal, but we have also created a sensory garden to stimulate the senses.

Time spent outside has a range of health benefits, including reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. Sensory gardens have a proven therapeutic value. They are the perfect place to relax, meditate, contemplate and talk.

Jayne, our activities coordinator, often spends one to one time with residents in the sensory garden. It’s a good place to reminisce, listen to resident’s stories, thoughts, plans for the week and their ideas for activities.

Stimulating the senses

The sensory garden has been designed to be accessible for everyone. There are pathways, wide enough for wheelchair access. Raised beds and hanging baskets ensure residents can reach all the plants. A winding pathway invites you to slow down and look around. Also, a walkway that starts and finishes at the same point, is ideal for someone with dementia.

The planting gives a variety of colour and mixed foliage, to visually appeal throughout the year. There are contrasting shapes and sizes and plants to attract birds, butterflies and bees. The leaves are tactile, from fleshy succulent leaves to velvet soft leaves and feathery ferns.

Fragrant lavenders, hebes and aromatic herbs appeal to the sense of smell. The herbs are lovely to pick and rub between fingers and we also have fruit trees and berry bushes to pick.

The sounds in the garden are appealing: The babble of the water feature, the rustling of plants, the crunching of gravel underfoot and the swaying of long grasses. Bird and insect life is encouraged into the garden with bird baths and nesting boxes.

It is a place of tranquillity, with the backdrop of the hills and a wonderful therapeutic oasis for our residents to enjoy.

The sensory garden at Astley

The sensory garden at Astley

resident smelling lavender in the sensory garden

resident smelling lavender

Violet feeling the herbs in the sensory garden

Violet feeling the herbs in the sensory garden

Violet berry picking from sensory garden fruit trees

Violet berry picking from sensory garden fruit trees