In May we were very privileged to have, the Mayor of Runnymede Parshotam Sohi, Mayoress of Runnymede Davinder Sohi and Frances Dyble-Goode who is the founder of Runnymede Dementia Carers Support Group.
We are very lucky here at Parklands to have a large beautifully landscaped garden with a pond and mature trees and shrubs. It is a pleasure to witness on a sunny day, residents sitting and chatting in the garden and going for a walk around the pond.
Being outside in the garden brings so much satisfaction not only to those who participate in the hobby but also to those who reap the many rewards of just sitting in a space, looking at the plants and ‘being.’
As it is becoming more and more well known that gardens and plants have a therapeutic quality, we thought it would be a nice idea to make an area by the patio dedicated to the 5 senses. Our intention was to create a raised bed which was easily accessible to all that could stimulate and revive the senses through touch, taste, smell, sight and sound that could be particularly of benefit to residents with cognitive impairments or sensory impairments.
We wanted the bed to attract people’s attention! To achieve this, we have used perennials that are brightly coloured for example orange and yellow geums, lupins and bold purple alliums
We have also included some nostalgic bedding plants such as marigolds and petunias which may spark memories and promote reminiscence about what flowers residents used to grow in their gardens.
We have grasses for sound and a wind chime to provide melodic tunes this adds a serene and calming element to the area for people to sit and listen.
It is particularly important for some of the plants to be tactile to provide another sensory element especially for those who are visually impaired. That’s why we have included various grasses. We have also used ‘Lamb’s Ears’ for their soft, furry texture.
On the arch, there is a ‘feely wall’ which has three different textures; wood, pebbles and chamomile for people to feel as they walk by.
A smell can often transport people back to the past, so we thought it would be nice to have lots of different herbs such as chives, basil, rosemary, thyme and chamomile. We also have lavender and a type of nemesia which smells of vanilla
We have included tumbling tomatoes and strawberries that residents can simply pull off the plant as they pass and eat. The herbs and fennel are of course also edible and will be used in the kitchen.
It is an evolving project that we hope to continue to develop over the coming months.