Thanet Pilgrims Hospices – Dannie Duttson

The therapeutic benefits of gardening have long been praised and publicised.


Thanet Pilgrims Hospices have started to reap the green rewards by establishing their very own kitchen garden that will provide the Hospice with home grown plants and vegetables all year round. The project is being run by Dannie Duttson, a former secondary school teacher who retrained in 2019 with the RHS in Practical Horticulture and who now specialises in kitchen gardens. We spoke to Dannie to find out more.


Where did the idea come from to make a garden for Pilgrims Hospice?

The Hospices at Thanet had previously established a kitchen garden but managing the space is time consuming and labour intensive, so an advert was placed on their website for a volunteer to help out.

I started in January with the intention of providing them with vegetables, fruits, and herbs that can be harvested year-round for patients, staff, volunteers, and visitors to enjoy.


What kinds of plants are going in?

We currently have an herb garden along with potatoes, tomatoes, lettuces, radish, courgettes, rainbow chard, and plenty of peas and beans. Soft summer fruits are also available: strawberries and raspberries. The green house is home to recently-planted squash, pumpkin, and cauliflower ready for autumn.


How will the garden benefit the Thanet Pilgrims Hospices?

Ideally the kitchen garden will be a space that everyone can enjoy. Hopefully patients who are well enough will be able to potter and pick their peas, salads and strawberries. The kitchen team are brilliant at using the produce to create healthy and nutritious meals for patients and staff whilst sharing the fact that the some of their food is grown right outside patients’ windows.


What can people do to help the garden and get involved?

Pilgrims is in need of donations for the kitchen garden particularly: compost, mulch, plug plants, and seeds. If you can help, please contact Georgina Braithwaite, Head Chef, on 01843 233929.


Keep up to date with all things Pilgrims Hospices by following them on Facebook @pilgrimshospices.

by Alice Smales

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