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Horticulture Therapy


The recent lockdowns have taught many of us to love our gardens. We learnt that the garden relaxes us, connects us with nature and brings meaningful activity into our lives.  

Our gardens engage all of our senses, helping us to be mindful and to live in the moment. People with Dementia, can often only live in the moment and so the enrichment that a garden brings is the perfect way to bring a sense of fulfilment to that moment.

Our FLOURISH programme provides a person-centred approach to horticultural therapy, for many people living with dementia. The emphasis is on providing opportunities for social interaction and meaningful activity, whilst benefitting from the calming and restorative effects of natural surroundings. 

Regular garden-related and social activities take place at our Dementia-friendly garden spaces: the sensory area in the Public Gardens; the inner courtyard at the Community Centre and the Allotment (109) at the Wooteys / Spitalfields site.  The majority of our gardening takes place in raised beds and is easily accessible.  During cold or wet weather, we meet at the Allen Gallery, where we can continue to undertake a variety of garden-related activities whilst developing our garden scrapbooks / albums.

Dementia-friendly Alton Horticulture Therapy

Benefits of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH)

Spending time in the natural environment of a garden has been shown to have many beneficial and restorative effects.  A large body of evidence demonstrates a variety of benefits that include:

  • Psychological restoration
  • Increased general mental well-being
  • Improvement in dementia-related symptoms
  • Improved self-esteem, confidence and mood
  • Increased attentional capacity and cognition
  • Improved happiness, satisfaction and quality of life
  • Sense of peace, calm or relaxation
  • Feelings of safety and security
  • Increased social contact, inclusion and sense of belonging
  • Increase in meaningful activity and personal achievement
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved activity levels
  • Improved awareness - Multi-sensory engagement and associated joy
  • Increased verbal expression 

Information re SWALLOWS to follow - Sunday Gardening at the Sensory Gardens

Date Theme Activity

5th June 2022 - 1300 - 1600

Eco-printing / Working with Petals 

& The Big Picnic 

Using colour in petals to make 'butterfly' prints 

12th June  2022 - 1400 - 1600

Making a Shell Garden   

Create a small alpine garden decorated with shells  

19th June 2022 - 1400 - 1600

Exploring Mint / Sowing Biennials while Brass Band Play in the Bandstand 

See, smell & taste a variety of mints courtesy of Mick our Garden Barista 

Planting of Foxgloves, Honesty and Wallflowers around the Park 

26th June 2022 - 1400 - 1600

Ephemeral Art  

Short foraging walk for petals, leaves, cones, twigs and stones for temporary 'art piece' in the garden  

3rd July 2022 - 1400 - 1600

Wildlife in the Garden whilst listening to the Strings from the Bandstand 

Feeding the birds - Are they eating the violet millet? Top up feeders / Check nest boxes.  Nuts for nutchatches & squirrels. Bird songs with Mick  

10th July 2022 - 1400 - 1600


Future dates: 16/07 Nature in the Park,  24/07 - Music, 7/08 - Music, 21/08 - Music, 10/09 All things local event 

Activity Schedule for the Allotment - Tuesday Afternoons 1300 - 1530 - Call 07922 022321 to book a place

Date Theme Activities

7th June 2022

Getting more Greens in

More planting of green veg in the raised beds 

14th June 2022



Mow the pathways and tidy the edges 

21st June 2022



Mow the pathways and tidy the edges 

28th June 2022



Mow the pathways and tidy the edges

5th  July 2022

Harvest time  


Picking some of the produce to share with Memory Lane club tomorrow