Memory Garden with Solar Powered Fountain
Dementia Unit, Bodlondeb Residential Home for the Elderly Aberystwyth
After a four year period of fundraising by the staff and the 'Friends' of the home the garden was finally realised. It was designed and created by Simply Solar. The design was based on ideas coming from the staff and a beautiful little book entitled 'Designing Gardens for People with Dementia' by Annie Pollock (Dementia Services Development Centre, Stirling University) All the work was done with the help of local volunteers and funded by many various agencies, charities and individuals.
The garden considers the special needs of Alzheimer's patients thus seeking to stimulate movement and coordination in the open air and trying to improve sensory perception and the flowing of fragmented memory. Therefore we have chosen a simple layout of access paths including two different gates, which are easy to open and thus give a sense of transition from one area of the garden to another. There are many different garden areas in sun as well as in shade conveying both wild and tame planting characteristics. Distinct colour coding utilising environmentally friendly paints denotes seating, planting areas and walls. We have used many features to break the otherwise constricting feeling of an enclosed yard. To do this we used reclaimed tyres as building blocks to create raised beds, as simple containers of differing dimensions and in the construction of the solar powered fountain.
The lawn around the fountain is made accessible for wheelchairs by seeding a mixture of rye and clover through recycled rubber matting.
As the garden tries to incorporate many aspects of growing it contains trees, (weeping birch, rowan) old varieties of apple as cordon, strawberries, flowers, grasses, herbs as well as a willow seat, many roses, some planted as a hedge (Rosa rugosa) others climbing, (Rosa filipe Kiftgate) some thorn less and all of them scented.
We hope that residents, staff and all visitors will find the garden beneficial, peaceful and regenerative.