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Jean 25th Mar 2019 Activities Coordinator
I am interested in information regarding gardening or horticultural therapy for a care home where many of the residents have dementia. Have any of the members reading this forum tried it, was it sustainable (in the UK)? Any hints or tips appreciated.
Elisa 26th Mar 2019 Senior Activity Coordinator
Hi, I have tried gardening with residents with dementia. I work in Ireland so kind of similar unpredictability with the weather.
I have found that indoor gardening works better than outdoor if you have to work within a weekly schedule, ie. Need to plan gardening session on a specific date and time. As it offen rains on the planned days. Cherry tomatoes on increasing size pots to transplant are great, also flowers from seed that can be transplanted to bigger pots and then to an outdoor bed on a one to one.
If your residents have easy access to a garden by themselves with some level of supervision, I found that if you have raised beds (to work from standing or with space for legs underneath while sitting) with hardy flower plants and you leave a watering can and and gardening tools, residents with dementia will use them.
I hope this helps.
Susan 26th Mar 2019 Activity Director
Thank you for your input it seems very helpful Elisa
Darla 26th Mar 2019 Recreation and Rehab Manager
Good Day!
I have purchased a starter garden kit from the local greenhouse. It has a greenhouse dome to watch the plants come up and then transplant to larger pots.

I also like Elisa's idea of indoor planting. Our glass windows surround a natural light courtyard, and we could plant near the windows and watch the plants grwo indoors unitl the weather permits outdoor planting for a couple of months.

If you are looking for text, this one is good: Bowlby, Carol (1992), Therapeutic Activities with Persons Disabled by Alzheimer's Disease and Other Related Disorders, An Aspen Publicaton, pp 136-148 with additional resources.

Jean 7th Apr 2019 Activities Coordinator
Thank you for your ideas and input.
Jill 22nd Apr 2021 Activities Coordinator
I have used some starter kits and the residents have enjoyed the mini green house from B and M bargains. It was a really good afternoon constructing it - it is very simple and effective.

We are working on an outside area - I am creating a sensory garden. Our maintenance manager constructed raised beds and we are growing herbs and veg.

I am also transferring roses from my own garden to the beds at the back of the house to try to recreate the Victorian feel to the garden.
Susan 23rd Apr 2021 Activity Director
Hi Darla and Jill
Thank you for your very helpful input

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