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Building a dementia friendly garden at Bupa Hugh Green Care Home

Robert from Luijten shares his passion for gardening and how he made the Hugh Green Dementia-friendly garden project come to life.

Luijten Landscaping is a 16-year-old family-run business and was chosen as the landscape company for a unique project at Bupa Hugh Green Care Home. Robert is the landscape designer with the vision behind the dementia-friendly garden.

I’ve actually been a landscape designer for over 30 years,’ says Robert, ‘And we established Luijten Landscaping in 2001.’

When asked what his typical day looks like, Robert says, ‘Generally my day involves looking after the clients and overseeing the large, new or challenging projects.’

‘The Bupa job,’ as Robert calls it, was one of those jobs that required Robert to be on site. This was due to the garden being a courtyard space surrounded by the three levels of the building and therefore required the delivery of soil and other large items by crane. ‘I couldn’t leave something like that with anyone else,’ he says, ‘It was too challenging to leave to someone else.’

‘With Hugh Green, we had to think about the people living with dementia and their needs. We had to create a garden which would be a special space for them. My team loved the challenge of creating a special space which draws people in to come and explore, feel at ease, relax and spend time together.‘

A lot of the plants seen in the Hugh Green Garden come from the Luijten nursery. ‘We gave the garden a tropical theme and chose the palms and trees for the six extra-large pots first, these created the “roof feeling” for the garden. The next layer was with hedging and shrubs to give the garden structure. To create year-round interest we finished it off with colourful annuals and perennials.

There are fairy lights installed in three of the trees and pots that light up at night to make the garden interesting for the residents at night as well. Of course, the courtyard is completed by benches and seats for the residents and their families, covered by large UV treated umbrellas to give shade in summer.

‘At Hugh Green Care Home we set out to do something spectacular and I’m happy with the result.’

Read more: About Bupa Hugh Green Care Home Garden 

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