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Re: Garden for Alzheimer's Patients

I suspect that those who remember those plants from their childhood would not confuse them with edibles.
On Thursday, January 29, 2004, at 04:07 AM, Melody wrote:

Wendy: My suggestion, as someone who works with Alzheimer's patients,
would be to try to find old fashioned plants...the kind our grandmothers
grew in their gardens...would probably be more interesting to folks
whose recent memory is gone but whose remote memories are still intact.
Peonies, roses, etc. And who would be eating these flowers? Would the
dementia patients be allowed to roam unattended in the gardens?? Our
patients get lots of flowers and although I've seen people eat some
strange things in my day, it's not usually their flowers/plants, unless
they are so far gone they should not be left unattended anyway.

Melody, IA (Z 5/4)

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."
--Albert Einstein

 --- On Wed 01/28, Wendy Swope < wendyswope@mindspring.com > wrote:
From: Wendy Swope [mailto: wendyswope@mindspring.com]
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 14:20:17 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
Subject: [CHAT] Garden for Alzheimer's Patients

Hello, All,<br><br>My garden club is working on a plan to plant
perennials in a garden<br>space behind the Alzheimer's Care Unit of a
nearby nursing home. The<br>existing garden is strictly foliage at this
point. The facility has good<br>bones in place, with empty areas waiting
in both sun and shade for us to<br>fill with low-maintenance perennial
ornamentals and groundcovers. The<br>patients already love the garden
and we're looking forward to making it<br>even more special to
them.<br><br><br>It's been fun brainstorming, like planning a garden for
kids. Plants<br>that are soft, sweet-smelling, exceptionally colorful,
or a fun shape<br>will be given preference. Plants selected have to be
tough enough to<br>take handling once they're established. Parts of the
plants will no<br>doubt be picked, stripped, or broken on a regular
basis. But the<br>trickiest part of deciding what to plant is figuring
out which<br>perennials are nontoxic, since the folks who will be
enjoying the<br>flowers also eat them! I've been through my books on
poisonous plants<br>and will do a web search on each of the club's final
selections to make<br>sure--to the best of my ability--that we are not
creating any risks.<br><br><br>I believe the following plants *are*
toxic?: hardy geranium, lily,<br>hemerocallis, lily of the valley,
hosta, Chinese lantern, poppies,<br>tulips, tansy, narcissus, vinca,
hosta, aquilegia, ivy, baptisia, and<br>boxwood. But what about Russian
sage, phlox, solidago, chrysanthemums,<br>Japanese anemones, heuchera
and heucherella, brunnera, pennisetum<br>alopecuroides "Hamelyn", ribbon
grass, lambs ears, violas, buddliea<br>davidii, spirea, perennial
snapdragons, alliums, lilac, honeysuckle,<br>achillea, dianthus, silver
mound, and balloon flowers? (mishmash of<br>latin and common names
appearing as they come to mind) All the above<br>have been
suggested.<br><br><br>Comments? Favorite "children's plants" that might
work well? Input would be greatly

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