Aralia was commissioned by the Caring Homes Group to design the gardens for their new 61 bed care home in Suffolk. Initial plans were drafted for a sensory Dementia Garden and an overall garden landscape which the clients loved so much that they decided to increase the budget to accommodate the extra garden features recommended by Aralia which were designed specifically to engage the residents and add value to Park View’s landscape garden offering.
The Dementia garden design provides an interactive and visually stimulating journey around the garden for the residents such as birdbaths, water features, pergolas and even a supersize Chess Set. The ‘Garden Activity’ area with a Potting Shed, Potting Table, and raised vegetable beds at waist height encourages the residents to be enjoyably hands-on in growing both ornamental and edible crops. There are numerous seating areas in the garden for residents and their family to admire the fruits of their labours and a magnificent central pergola provides a perfect resting space for an outdoor drink or meal, with built in BBQ. The overall landscape design was very much Classical, with a nod to the traditional.
Aralia’s planting plan for the Care Home was deliberately nostalgic, to capture the memories of the Dementia patients, with lots of fragrant and textural planting. An Evergreen structure allows an attractive all year architectural base, with a tasteful mix of colourful herbaceous planting, including a wildflower meadow to attract plenty of much appreciated wildlife.
Aralia’s landscape design plans needed to factor in a multi-functional team of architects, drainage engineers, structural surveyors, site management, the nursing team and head office, to ensure that the design and development of the site met the needs of all parties and conformed fully to building regulations and disability legislation. Aralia’s remit was both the design and build of the hard and soft garden landscaping which included one of our many specialisms—a full lighting plan and installation.
The Care Home garden in Ipswich was completed Spring 2012 and the photographs show the initial planting, just a few weeks old. The garden borders will mature and fill their socks in the next few years.