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York Dementia Care Home Receives A Garden Makeover

Award-winning garden designer Luke Arend recently designed a garden for a Dementia care home in York with plants donated by a local nursery firm, Johnsons of Whixley.

St Catherine’s in Shipton by Beningbrough is a dementia specialist care home run by Wellburn Care Homes which has recently gone through a complete transformation after months of research, development, planning and design.

The transformation sees innovative dementia-friendly interiors, gardens and exteriors added all of which were installed with the needs of patients with dementia in mind.

Garden designer Luke Arend, worked to a brief to tempt residents outside, and enjoy the garden with family members. It included functional requirements such as wheelchair access, safe paths with no anxiety-inducing dead-ends and clear edges, safe sensory plants (no poisonous, spiky, or thorny), plants which mark seasonal change, a safe water feature, dappled shade, clear views from the building and raised beds for interaction with the planting.

Luke created concept plans and mood boards and spoke to residents and family members about the design and considered garden features, materials, furniture, lighting and safe plants to invoke a positive, beautiful environment and memories.

Speaking about the benefits of the garden, garden designer, Luke Arend said: “ there is now a strong body of evidence of the enormous physical and mental benefits of just being in a garden and nature for patients with dementia including evoking memories, increasing confidence and socialisation, and importantly decreasing agitation.”

The garden is now complete and includes wet-poor rubber flexible non-slip paths, a beautiful Victorian-style central Gazebo, raised beds, a water feature, furniture, sculptures and memory-invoking plants.

The plant donation from Johnsons of Whixley was worth over £500 and included Hydrangeas, Skimmias, Echinaceas, Geraniums, Geums, Helleborus, Hostas, Lavenders, Lupins, Nepeta, Paeonia, Roses, Pulmonaria, Salvias, Vincas, Clematis, Buddleia and fatsia.

The aim was to include plants that residents are familiar with to help invoke positive memories, including lavenders, tulips, geraniums and roses.

Johnsons of Whixley is located between Harrogate and York and is just 2.5 miles from the A1 at Junction 47 they are one of the UK’s largest commercial nurseries supplying 5-6 million plants annually to landscaping projects throughout the UK.

Garden designer, Luke Arend said: “It’s so rewarding to see residents and family members enjoying the garden and savouring being outdoors. A huge thank you to Johnsons of Whixley for supporting this project and making it a reality.”

Discussing the donation, Johnsons marketing manager, Eleanor Richardson said: “It’s great to give something back to our local community, there are currently around 900,000 people with dementia in the UK so it’s great to support our local Dementia care home. We hope our plants bring joy to residents, staff and visitors of the care home for many years to come.”

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