Tatton award for garden

Ken Sharples and Yvonne Parkes from Belong Atherton enjoy the memory wall of archive photos in The Belong Garden
Ken Sharples and Yvonne Parkes from Belong Atherton enjoy the memory wall of archive photos in The Belong Garden
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A RESIDENTIAL village for pensioners has won an award for its garden at the RHS Flower Show.

Belong Villages, who operate an award-winning care village in Wigan’s Platt Bridge, celebrated a silver medal win at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park, Cheshire, for a garden specially designed for people living with dementia.

The new green area was on display at the event which took place from July 25 to 28 and will now be transported to Belong’s latest village development, in Warrington, where it will be a focal point of the village, due to open summer 2014.

The Belong Garden – A Sense of Place, was designed by Carolyn Hardern, from Cheshire, and is based on research into the benefits of outdoor spaces for people with dementia.

During the planning stage, Carolyn consulted the people already living in Belong villages, asking them about features they would like to see.

It has two sections, a sensory and a working area, divided by a memory wall of local archive photos to evoke memories of times gone by.

It also features a figure-of-eight pathway, which is designed to eliminate dead ends that can lead to stress and confusion, and an orchard and raised vegetable beds, to offer opportunities for the sense of purpose that gardening provides.

Resdents from Belong were among the first to visit the new Belong Garden at RHS Tatton.

Yvonne Parkes, who lives in Belong Atherton, said: “Spending the day at the RHS Flower Show with one of the garden designers, and knowing that she had won a silver medal win for something that we had helped to plan, was a fantastic feeling.

“I also picked up some tips that I want to try when we get back to the village.”

Tracy Paine, operations director at Belong, said: “The whole show has been a wonderful experience for Belong, and the recent good weather just shows how important outdoor spaces are for all of us.

“Belong has always focused on creating environments to support people living with dementia.

“Our buildings already reflect this, and now Carolyn Hardern is helping us to achieve our goal outdoors as well – with a beautiful, tranquil garden that doesn’t feel like a typical care home garden.”