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Re: Garden for Alzheimer's Patients

Our Master Gardener group  helped to set up and maintain an Alzheimer's Unit
at a nursing home.  I remember one of the things they said was that they
wanted things that would be well rooted.  The patients tend to pull up the
plants.  Every fall we plant pansies for color through the winter and into
the spring. I don't personally work on it so I will have to ask questions
for any more information.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Melody" <mhobertm@excite.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 4:07 AM
Subject: RE: [CHAT] Garden for Alzheimer's Patients

> 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
> appreciated!<br><br>Wendy<br><br>-----------------------------------
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