a Dementia Awareness Garden
Within the garden is a statue of the poet Caedmon carved in native sandstone by the local sculptor Darren Yeadon. Caedmon was a shepherd living in Whitby at the time of Abbess, St Hilda. Today only fragments of Caedmon’s poetry remain, just as those affected by dementia have only glimpses of memory. These intrinsically beautiful fragments are treasures, to be preserved for the joy they can evoke and re-told so that our children can have a sense of personal heritage.
The fragility of memory does not detract from the beauty of Caedmon words, nor does dementia destroy the essence of being, the mind may be partially obscured but the emotions dwelling beneath the surface are waiting to be freed.
Entering the bottom of the square you notice raised beds planted for scent, texture and colour. Aroma stimulates emotions, providing a bridge for the sub-conscious to cross. Fingers running through lavender instantly return thoughts to childhood, reliving the pure joy of fleeting moments wrapped in the comfort of grandmas’ arms. Crushed leaves of rosemary instantly bring Dad, smelling of shaving soap, to our side. The spiky growth of sea holly evokes the sweet memory of Indian summers spent picking brambles.
Planting in the lower beds is deliberately condensed, vibrant and busy. The warm shades of red, orange and yellow tulips, crocus, daffodils and crocosmia; sit amongst the cooler blue green foliage plants, representative of the vitality and exuberance of youth, when memories form faster than minds can process.
Progressing up the steep steps of adult life we reach the tranquillity of age. Here the planting is calmer, fennels swaying in the breeze provide a gentle fleeting movement, a haze of calmness between the bursts of disjointed colour. Forget-me-nots, saxifrage, primulas and foxgloves reflect the flowers of youth, proclaiming quietly the reminiscences of days’ past; hours that last long in the memory after the loudness of the present becomes just a passing noise, to be forgotten as instantly as it arrived. A garden returning to nature, not quite of man but not yet a free spirit, beautiful, ethereal, a moment in time to be treasured until it too passes into the heritage of ancestry.
Alzheimer’s Society 01723 500958 email@example.com
Carers Resource 01723 850155 firstname.lastname@example.org
Making Space 01723 371958 email@example.com
Alzheimer’s Society : forum.alzheimers.org.uk
Talking point is an online community offering information and support for anyone affected by dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 11 22
The Contented Dementia Trust: www.contenteddementiatrust.org
The Contented Dementia Trust offers an innovative approach to the care of people with dementia.
The Contented Dementia Trust