Courtyard Gardening Station

What is this space?

Amanda: This is a gardening memory station located in a community courtyard. This community is located in the Midwest, so the bench can be brought inside when winter is near. If taken inside, typically suggest a station like this be located near windows where you can see flowers and landscaping, or near the exit to a courtyard.

What materials did you use?

Amanda: A PVC garden bench (easy to clean), assorted plastic pots, watering can, box for seeds, a birdhouse, garden hats, a trowel, gardening gloves (men and women’s), assorted easy-maintenance potted plants, tub with handles for dirt.

Why does this space work well in dementia care?

Amanda: Many residents used to garden as a hobby, so it’s nice to give them an activity that they have some familiarity with, and that they love to do. Even if residents were not life-long gardeners, the tasks that go with planting are quite calming: scooping the dirt, handling the plants, being outside and in nature.

Rachael: I love stations that give residents the ability to pick up items and move them around. In your own house, you organize and reorganize items, but in dementia communities, the staff often gets frustrated by residents relocating things. It’s a big part of life, though, and it’s a big part of the disease process! People with dementia love to interact with things, and this station allows them to do that.