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Reminiscence Gardening

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Many people know first-hand the responsibility of caring for a family member or partner at home who is living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Master Gardeners recognize the need for more everyday-type experiences for this underserved population.

For more than 3 years, Master Gardener volunteers have provided tabletop gardening activities in memory care communities across San Diego County and at Alzheimer’s San Diego.

Our program provides step-by-step instructions for gardening activities that can be easily done at home and are inclusive for all levels of dementia.

Here, you will find activity plans that allow you to be as creative as you want to be. You and your garden partner can have a fun, relaxing garden experience that allows you to recall memorable moments such as days spent shell-collecting at the beach, admiring the varied color, scent, and texture of plants in the garden, or maybe just quietly reminiscing with each other during a no-stress activity. The important thing is to enjoy your time together!

This simple activity uses succulent cuttings from your garden combined with household items to create a beautiful and unique dish garden. Before you begin, gather all the materials and set up a quiet, comfortable work area for you and your garden partner.

You can grow tasty microgreens in a matter of days with just a few items from your kitchen, some potting soil and seeds. Be sure to have all the materials ready before getting started.

Tabletop Planting inspires pleasant garden memories for participants through potting colorful and fragrant plants in a small pot or container and decorating. This activity is inclusive for all levels of dementia.

Sensory Exploration is an activity whereby participants experience familiar smells, sights and textures from the garden that inspire pleasant memories. This activity is inclusive for all levels of dementia.