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Down Memory Lane

Down Memory Lane Garden is a collaborative design by the team at The Blue Diamond Group inspired by the Father of the Lead Designer, who is living with dementia but has developed as a collective of stories and memories from Blue Diamond employees whose loved ones have experienced dementia in some way.

Down Memory Lane a collaborative design by the team at The Blue Diamond Group

Being in a garden and gardening are a known source of enjoyment for people living with dementia and their carers. With 850,0000 people in the UK living with the condition (set to rise to 1 million by 2025), it has never been more important to increase awareness of the issues people with dementia may face on an everyday basis. Practical aspects of the design have been considered to ensure that people with dementia who may experience cognitive and mobility issues can enjoy outside space, which can be very important for wellbeing and quality of life.

Down Memory Lane a collaborative design by the team at The Blue Diamond Group


The garden has been designed to help those living with dementia seek calmness as well as to provide stimulation of the senses. Plants that are colourful with fragrant flowers to encourage bees and butterflies, lavender and other sensory plants are planted close to the edges of the path so that when they are brushed, they release fragrance. Herbs for tasting are clearly marked, and the colour of the garden is broken up with muted areas so that people don’t feel too overwhelmed.

Down Memory Lane a collaborative design by the team at The Blue Diamond Group


The potting shed is also a tool to trigger reflection and memories, and to encourage reminiscence of digging and being busy in the garden. As depth perception can sometimes be impacted by condition, the handrail and wide, smooth pathways make mobility easier. Raised flowerbeds also mean people don’t have to stoop to look at plants up-close, so that people affected by dementia and the people that care for them can enjoy the calming power of nature.

The emblem of Alzheimer’s Society, the forget-me-not, is present in the ditsy plants, a creative carving within the bench and a metal sculpture.

Plant list:

 

HERBS & VEGETABLES

Aloysia triphylla
Thymus vulgaris
Melissa officinalis
Rumex acetosa
Vicia faba
Origanum majorana
Fragaria x ananassa (any edible variety)
Lactuca sativa 'Attraktion'
Salvia rosmarinus (any variety)
Allium fistulosum

 

ORNAMENTAL GRASSES (SENSORY)

Stipa tenuissima
Calamagrostis brachytrich
Carex comans bronze-leaved
Eragrostis curvula 'Totnes Burgundy'
Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron'
Briza media
Deschampsia flexuosa
Festuca glauca 'AmiGold'

 

FRAGRANT FLOWERING (SENSORY)

Erigeron karvinskianus
Lathyrus odoratus
Nemesia caerulea
Dahlia (any variety)
Dahlia 'Melody Gipsy'

 

WATER LOVING / AQUATIC PLANTS   

Iris pseudacorus
Typha minima
Butomus umbellatus
Anagallis tenella
Pistia stratiotes
Veronica beccabunga
Oenanthe javanica 'Flamingo'
Acorus calamus 'Argenteostriatus'
Geum rivale
Lychnis flos-cuculi 'White Robin'
Salvinia natans
Cyperus alternifolius
Phalaris arundinacea var. picta

 

ATTRACTING NATURE

Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight'
Penstemon heterophyllus 'Electric Blue'
Tropaeolum majus
Delphinium 'Highlander Crystal Delight'
Cosmos 'Psyche White' (Psyche Series)
Salvia 'Mirage Pink' (Mirage Series)
Delphinium 'Lilac Rose with White Bee' (Excalibur Series)

 

BRIGHT & SENSORY

Rosa 'Flower Power'
Rosa 'Margaret Merrill'
Rosa rugosa 'Rubra'
Rosa 'Bonica'
Rosa 'Nostalgia'
Dahlia 'Berliner Kleene'
Dahlia 'Bishop of Leicester'
Rosa 'Chandos Beauty'
Rosa 'Joie de Vivre'
Digitalis (any hardy variety)
Digitalis x valinii 'Firecracker'