Judy Good, a recent Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s Garden Design Diploma graduate has designed a garden for people living with dementia. The Garden of Tranquillity will be a safe, peaceful and sensory greenspace in our Edinburgh Demonstration Garden for people with dementia, their families and friends.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a group of symptoms which will affect the brain and cause gradual decline in cognitive function. In Scotland there are approximately 90,000 people living with dementia. It is most common in older people but can affect people in their 40s or 50s or even younger. With an ageing population the number of people with dementia in Scotland is estimated to rise in the future.
Therapeutic benefits of a Dementia Friendly Garden
• Promotes calmness, aids appetite and sleep.
• Boosts oxygen levels and provides exercise.
• Prevents boredom and depression.
• Promotes multisensory stimulation.
• Can help to reduce stress.
• Helps maintain balance coordination, strength and stamina.
• Boosts memory and reminiscence.
Judy Good’s Garden of Tranquillity which will be built in RBGE’s demonstration garden. Within the design there are natural boundaries to reduce anxiety, non-slip and non-reflective surfaces to prevent falls and calming artwork to inspire.
The garden will contain plants with vibrant colours, beautiful fragrances and interesting textures will be used to gently stimulate the senses. Nostalgic planting will be within the design to help unlock memories, offer discussion points and evoke joy. There will even be medicinal plants to demonstrate the positive effects of plants on health and well-being.
As well as being a place of beauty peace, and refection the Garden of Tranquillity will serve as a showcase for dementia – friendly design and promote the benefits of horticulture on health and well-being.
The aims of the Garden are to:
• Support local people with dementia so that they feel included and can safely experience the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors.
• Inspire visitors with ideas to make their own gardens more dementia-friendly and emphasise how horticulture can promote good health and wellbeing.
• Educate people about the prevalence of dementia and highlight Edinburgh as a world-leader in dementia research.
You can help support us build the garden with a donation to the project by clicking on the link https://donate.rbge.org.uk/tranquillity.html