MORE than 200 residents at 21 care homes across the south took part in a competition focused on gardening and horticulture.

The third annual Colten Village Produce Show was described as the "best yet" by the care home provider's head gardener, Charles Hubberstey.

Linden House in Lymington came first, followed closely by Abbotts Barton in Winchester. Braemar Lodge in Salisbury was third.

Some of the people taking part produced garden-themed paintings, sketches and photographs while others made birdbaths and wind chimes from upcycled garden materials.

Charles said: “The show is an ideal, hands-on opportunity for residents and gardeners to come together in a year-round celebration of garden-inspired creativity.

“The results always amaze us. It’s humbling to see the skills our residents have and the effort that goes into the entries.

“We have improved every year despite the impact of the pandemic. This show was the best yet and I believe next year will be even bigger and better.”

Homes taking part in the competition could score a maximum 224 points across ten categories. Linden House finished up with 192 points, just four head of Abbots Barton.

One of the pensioners, Linden House resident Nigel Bendell, painted a local scene.

He said: "Producing the painting has put me in the mood to pursue it as a hobby. I was very surprised we won first place as I had no idea how good our competitors would be."