'Remember Me' garden created for dementia sufferers at RHS Tatton Flower Show

Dahlias were popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Credit: PA

A garden aimed at comforting people with dementia will form part of the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) Tatton Flower Show.

The Remember Me garden will be filled with plants popular in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as features that will help people suffering from dementia or other cognitive impairments.

Cheshire-based designers Jane Bingham and Penny Hearn said they hoped the garden would inspire visitors with ideas to help friends or relatives with the disease by making gardens more personal for them.

The garden is intended to tell the story of a dementia patient's journey from diagnosis to requiring 24-hour care.

Its hexagonal shape is intended to provide a feeling of enclosure and security, while also representing the support network required by a dementia patient.

Department of Health figures in 2016 suggested there are 676,000 people living with dementia or a cognitive impairment in England alone, with symptoms including anxiety and frustration at having difficulty remembering recent events.

Research shows that older memories are easier for dementia suffers to reclaim and can bring comfort to people with the disease as they are returned to something familiar to them, the garden uses planting and other features to help jog old memories.

It is hoped the flowers will be instantly recognisable to dementia sufferers. Credit: PA

The plants used in the Remember Me garden were popular in the 1960s and 1970s, making them instantly recognisable to the generation which many dementia sufferers are from.

Plants in the garden include buddleja, mop head hydrangeas, dahlia, dianthus, delphinium, nasturtium, antirrhinum and lavatera.

Ms Bingham explained: "Many people being diagnosed now with dementia will have been young, with young families, during that time and will have had their own garden...

"Fragrance can transport someone back in time instantly to a moment.

"For example, if I smell the scent of buddleja, I am straight away taken back to my childhood home in the 1970s when buddlejas were covered in butterflies: red admirals, tortoiseshells and peacocks.

"We played under the garden hose surrounded by its heady scent."

The garden is landscaped to allow people to wander around without feeling trapped. Credit: PA

In the garden there will also be a memory shed called the "room of inklings" with interactive art displays based on "rummage drawers" which are used as a tool in hospitals to calm patients and remind them of typical activities, hopefully triggering memories and sparking conversations.

There will be a display of bottles and glasses filled with items such as marbles and seashells, which people could complement with items from the past of their friend or relative with dementia.

The garden is landscaped to allow people to wander around without feeling trapped and avoids materials such as shiny surfaces they might struggle to process.

The layout of the garden. Credit: RHS Tatton Flower Show

It is designed to support the Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity's £1.5 million appeal to improve the environment at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's Leighton Hospital in Crewe for patients with dementia or other cognitive impairment.

Leighton Hospital will receive recycled garden elements from RHS Tatton, as they are developing a future garden for dementia sufferers, while the plants will be sold off at the end of the show to raise money for the charity.