This month’s DIG (Dementia Inclusive Gardening) session was bursting with colour and flavour, a real treat for all the senses. At the beginning of our time together we gathered round the fire pit – full of flowers, rather than fire at this time of year – to catch up and enjoy some refreshing cordial. We were delighted to welcome a new couple this session, as well as our guest for the day, an Occupational Therapist in Adult Social Care, and his daughter, on her school holidays.
After reflecting on what we like about summer, we passed round a rather large yellow courgette, making guesses about how much it weighed. A top tip was to consider how much we thought it weighed in relation to a bag of flour. We decided we would weigh the courgette at the end of our time together, and whoever made the closest guess could take it home for supper. After that we read a summery poem, called ‘What I Would Like to Grow in My Garden’.
After chatting about the poem together, our thoughts turned to the tasks for the morning. We had a concoction of mint and garlic to spray on the black fly, and the tomatoes in the greenhouse needed a little attention. We did a little watering and harvesting of peas, beans, courgettes, cucumbers and nasturtium, both the leaves and flowers. Having taken a fistful of nasturtium leaves to make pesto last month, one participant told us today, ‘I’ll never buy pesto again, it’s so easy to make!’ Between us we harvested enough for a veritable vegetable feast, and we also gathered some lavender and rosemary for posies to take home.
When we gathered together again for a cup of tea, we tucked in to several rounds of crackers topped with cream cheese and freshly picked cucumbers. We reflected on our time together, and all agreed how the morning had flown by. Our guest reflected, ‘just for a moment, it felt like I was on holiday’. One participant said, ‘I like hearing people around me’ and another added, ‘With the sun coming in and out, I liked feeling the sun on my back’.
Oh, and it turned out that the weight of the courgette was 1.25kg, with John’s guess being the closest. Looks like courgettes on the menu for supper, and perhaps tomorrow too. That’s quite a lot of courgette.
DIG is a collaboration between community allotment PLOT 22 and Charlotte who runs Story Chaplain, a social enterprise made up of a collection of creative arts projects for people living with dementia, and their carers.