“Down Memory Lane” Show Garden at RHS Hampton Court 2021
The Blue Diamond Group, the UK’s second largest Garden Centre Group, created a Show Garden at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (5th to 11th July 2021), and in addition, showcased a display of roses and selling area in the Festival of Roses Marquee.
We are very pleased to report that both the Show Garden and Festival Marquee won Silver Gilt at the show!
Down Memory Lane Garden is a collaborative design by the team at The Blue Diamond Group inspired by the Father of the Lead Designer, who is living with dementia but has developed as a collective of stories and memories from Blue Diamond employees whose loved ones have experienced dementia in some way.
Anna King of the Blue Diamond Team and her Father
Alzheimer’s Society has also suggested design elements of this garden based on guidelines and research around best practice, produced by Alzheimer’s Society and other organisations such as the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling, to make it is as dementia-friendly as possible. The design has also incorporated feedback from a panel of people affected by dementia.
Down Memory Lane Rose
A rose of the same name will be launched at the Show on behalf of Alzheimer’s Society and will feature in the garden. The rose will also be available to purchase from our stand in the Festival of Roses Marquee, or to order online at www.bluediamond.gg
£1 from each Down Memory Lane rose sold through Blue Diamond Garden Centres and Fryer’s Roses online will be donated by the Blue Diamond Group to Alzheimer’s Society.
Benefits of being in a garden and gardening to people living with dementia and their carers
Being in a garden and gardening are a known source of enjoyment for people living with dementia and their carers.
With 850,0000 people in the UK living with the condition (set to rise to 1 million by 2025), it has never been more important to increase awareness of the issues people with dementia may face on an everyday basis. Practical aspects of the design have been considered to ensure that people with dementia who may experience cognitive and mobility issues can enjoy outside space, which can be very important for wellbeing and quality of life.
The garden has been designed to help those living with dementia seek calmness as well as to provide stimulation of the senses.
Plants that are colourful with fragrant flowers to encourage bees and butterflies, lavender and other sensory plants are planted close to the edges of the path so that when they are brushed, they release fragrance. Herbs for tasting are clearly marked, and the colour of the garden is broken up with muted areas so that people don’t feel too overwhelmed.
The potting shed is also a tool to trigger reflection and memories, and to encourage reminiscence of digging and being busy in the garden.
As depth perception can sometimes be impacted by condition, the handrail and wide, smooth pathways make mobility easier.
Raised flowerbeds also mean people don’t have to stoop to look at plants up-close, so that people affected by dementia and the people that care for them can enjoy the calming power of nature.
The emblem of Alzheimer’s Society, the forget-me-not, is present in the ditsy plants, a creative carving within the bench and a metal sculpture.
Alan Roper, Managing Director of the Blue Diamond Group said: “We have exhibited in many RHS shows over the years under our Fryer’s Roses brand, however we are delighted to be able to have a show garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and launch a new charity rose. We are proud of the work we do to support charities and Alzheimer’s Society is one very close to my heart as my father lived with and ultimately died of dementia”.
Alan Roper, Managing Director of the Blue Diamond Group
Tim Beanland, Head of Knowledge at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “For people with dementia, being outside or in the garden and in nature is a brilliant way to excite the five senses, keep active and stimulate the mind. We were delighted to work with Blue Diamond for support on the design ideas for their dementia-friendly garden, and to see their vision transform an illustration into a beautiful garden is wonderful”.
“The pandemic has been difficult for many people, but especially the 850,000 people living with dementia, with thousands experiencing an increase in symptoms due to multiple lockdowns. This is why we are urging everyone to head outdoors and take part in Memory Walk this Autumn to help provide vital support for those who need it most in the wake of the pandemic. For more information visit memorywalk.org.uk.”
Managing Director of The Blue Diamond Group
Alan has a National Diploma in Horticulture and has been the Managing Director of Blue Diamond for 20 years.
Alan instigated the concept of Blue Diamond employees sharing their memories of loved ones who are living with dementia; many of these memories have been captured in the garden.
Visual Merchandiser at Blue Diamond
Anna studied art, design and textiles which lead to a career in the design industry for many years before moving to work for Blue Diamond as a Creative Visual Merchandiser. This role enables Anna to combine her love of gardening and creative projects. Anna ‘s Father and her time spent in the garden with him, inspired Anna’s idea for the garden. Anna then created the artist impression of the Blue Diamond Down Memory Lane garden and will help to bring the garden to life at the show.
Head of Plants at Blue Diamond and Lead Designer
James has worked in horticulture for 29 years starting out at Fryer’s Garden Centre which is interestingly now part of the Blue Diamond Group.
James enjoys the creative and commercial side of horticulture and is driven by the joy people get from plants and gardening and how nature can inspire our creativity.
James has worked closely with the Blue Diamond Team to reach the final design for the Down Memory Lane garden and planting scheme.
Rose Category Manager and Events Manager at Blue Diamond
Jill started out life as a Commercial Litigation solicitor before leaving to join Fryer’s Garden Centre and subsequently Blue Diamond as their Trade and Business Export Manager. Jill has now moved to join the Plant Team but also organises the Group’s attendance at various RHS shows, predominantly to promote the Group’s own brand, Fryer’s Roses. Jill has been involved in the garden from its concept, co-ordinating the team and liaising with the RHS and press.
A list of plants used in the Blue Diamond RHS Hampton Court 2021 Show Garden, 'Down Memory Lane'
NAME OF PLANT (LATIN)
HERBS & VEGETABLES
|Ocimum tenuiflorum||Monk's Basil|
|Salvia rosmarinus||Common Rosemary|
|Melissa officinalis||Lemon Balm|
|Allium fistulosum||Spring Onions|
|Vicia faba||Bunyard's Exhibition Broad Bean|
|Solanum lycopersicum||St Pierre Tomato|
|Solanum lycopersicum||Isabelle Tomato|
|Solanum lycopersicum||Cherokee Purple Tomato|
|Solanum lycopersicum||Habinger Tomato|
|Brassica oleracea var. capita||Greyhound Cabbage|
|Brassica oleracea var. capita||Mozart F1|
|Fragaria x ananassa||Beltran Strawberry|
|Origanum majorana||French Marjoram|
|Origanum majorana Aureum||Golden Marjoram|
|Rumex acetosa||Garden Sorrel|
|Thymus vulgaris||Broad Leaf Thyme|
|Lactuca sativa||Little Gem Lettuce|
|Aloysia citrodora||Lemon Verbena|
ORNAMENTAL GRASSES (SENSORY)
|Pennisetum alopercuroides Hameln||Chinese Fountain Grass|
|Eragrostis curvula||Weeping Love Grass|
|Deschampsia flexuosa||Common Hair Grass|
|Festuca glauca Amigold||Dwarf Ornamental Grass|
|Calamagrostis brachytricha||Korean Feather Reed Grass|
|Carex Comans Bronze||Sedge Grass|
|Stipa tenuissima||Pony Tails Grass|
|Briza Media||Quaking Grass|
|Imperata cylindrica Red Baron||Blood Grass|
FRAGRANT /FLOWERING (SENSORY)
|Lathyrus odoratus||Sweet Pea Streamer Mixed|
|Erigeron karvinskianus||Mexican Fleabane|
WATER LOVING/ AQUATIC PLANTS
|Myosotis scorpioides||Water Forget-Me-Not|
|Anagallis tenella||Bog Pimpernell|
|Iris pseudacorus||Flag Iris|
|Lychnis flos-cuculi White Robin||White Robin|
|Myosotis scorpioides Snowflakes||Water Forget-Me-Not|
|Oenanthe javanica Flamingo||Water Dropwort|
|Scirpus cernuus||Dougal Grass|
|Scirpus tabernaemontani zebrinus||Zebra Rush|
|Cyperus alternifolius||Dwarf Papyrus Grass|
|Geum rivale||Water Avens|
|Lobelia siphilitica f. albiflora Alba||Lobellia White Cardinal|
|Butomus umbellatus||Grassy Rush|
|Acorus calamus Variegatus||Variegated Sweet Flag Grass|
|Phalaris arundinacea var. picta||Bride's Laces|
|Typha minima||Dwarf Reed Grass|
|Pistia stratiotes||Water Lettuce|
|Salvinia natans||Water Moss|
|Hedera helix Shamrock||Clover Leaf Ivy|
|Hedera helix||Trailing Green Ivy|
|Buddleja davidii Black Knight||Butterfly Bush|
|Cosmos Psyche White||Mexican Aster|
|Campanula Spring Bell White||Hairbells|
|Wildflower Meadow Turf- for full species list see www.bluediamond.gg||Meadow Grass|
|Salvia Beyond Blue||Sage|
|Salvia Mirage Pink||Sage|
|Penstemon heterophyllus Electric Blue||Penstemon|
|Delphinium Highlander Crystal Delight||Delphinium|
|Delphinium Highlander Samba||Delphinium|
|Delphinium Lilac Rose White Bee||Delphinium|
BRIGHT & SENSORY
|Dahlia Bishop of Leicester||Dahlia|
|Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote||Lavender|
|Echinacea Satisfy||Cone Flower|
|Dahlia Berliner Kleene||Dahlia|
|Digitalis x valinii Firecracker||Foxglove|
|Digitalis Lucas White||Foxglove|
|Rosa Nostalgia- Hybrid Tea||Rose|
|Rosa Flower Power - Patio||Rose|
|Rosa Joie de Vivre- Floribunda||Rose|
|Rosa Margaret Merril-Floribunda||Rose|
|Rosa Rugosa Rubra- Shrub||Rose|
|ROSA Diamond Days Forever- Hybrid tea||Rose|
|ROSA Bonica-Shrub rose||Rose|
|ROSA Chandos Beauty - Hybrid tea rose -||Rose|
|ROSA Blue Diamond - Hybrid Tea||Rose|
|Rosa Down Memory Lane||Rose|
|Ficus carica Signora||Fig Tree|
Thank you to our teams...
Down Memory Lane Garden
A huge thank you to Anna King, Lead Designer of the Blue Diamond Team and to all the build up team including Bernard Porter, Aaron Piper, Sam Farr, Alex Sharples, Den Sproston and Dave Bonner.
Also to all other staff within Blue Diamond Garden Centres who have helped with the garden in some way, including manning the garden during show week and to Bridgemere Nursery who have also helped bring this garden together.
Festival of Roses marquee
A huge thank you to Bijal Mistry, Nick Jones, Aaron Piper and Gary Buttle and to all staff from Blue Diamond Garden Centres who have helped with this display and who have worked on the stand during the show selling Fryer's Rose.
Also thank you to the staff at Bridgemere Nursery who have grown and supplied the Fryer's show roses.