Supported by Project Giving Back, this charity garden for The National Brain Appeal aimed to raise awareness and support for Dementia in its many forms, specifically Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA).
The National Brain Appeal garden, designed by Charlie Hawkes, won an RHS Gold Medal in addition to Best Sanctuary Garden and Best in Construction.
The National Brain Appeal fund a service called Rare Dementia Support. 20% of dementias are described as rare: being non-memory-led, young-onset and/or hereditary. Most people wrongly associate the word 'dementia' with memory loss and a debilitating disease that now affects so many of us, either directly or indirectly.
The word 'dementia' describes a set of symptoms that over time can affect memory, problem-solving, language and behaviour. Some other symptoms may include confusion about where they are or judging distances.
The space has been designed in primary response to a rare visual dementia called PCA, which affects visual processing and is particularly well described in the short animation 'Do you see what I see?'
PCA makes understanding and moving confidently through physical space extremely challenging. The contrasting materials used in this garden help to distinguish components and the simple layout offers balance between exploration and calm navigation.
The National Brain Appeal hope to raise awareness of this condition and support people living with rare forms of dementia. They provide specialist one-to-one support and advice, in person support groups and the opportunity to meet with other people living with similar conditions.
Helena, who opened the garden at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, said ''I love the garden; the colours are great and the smell of the flowers, especially the azaleas, are fabulous. I can quickly make sense of where things are and the paths are easy to follow towards the brightly coloured benches. I feel very privileged to have been involved with this project.''
The brightly coloured benches and eye-catching water features were specifically designed by Charlie Hawkes to stand out amongst the diversity of planting. Keeping in mind the challenges that people living with PCA face, Charlie Hawkes designed an engaging, yet tranquil space for everyone to enjoy.
We are particularly proud to have worked with Charlie on this project and especially proud to have been awarded the Best in Construction award.
The garden has now been relocated to Exbury Gardens in Hampshire where it can be utilised by many visitors, both living with and affected indirectly by dementia.
Photography: Landscape Associates