21 August 2014
In bloom helps patient blossom
Liddington ward's August AWP diary movingly describes one
patient's experience of helping in the new garden.
Through the ward's 'this is me' document, we discovered we had a
keen gardener on the ward whose pride and joy in his younger days
was his allotment. Due to becoming frail in health and his
cognitive decline, he had to give it up and subsequently moved into
a care home. He had not been able to garden for a while.
We had a few new plants that needed planting, so he was asked if
he would like to help. At first he politely declined, stating that
he gave it up a few years ago as he was too old. After we told him
that we would value his advice, he agreed to take a look. We
presented him with a Magnolia bush, which raised a smile. He
tentatively removed the planting instructions, read them aloud and
then proceeded to look for a suitable spot to plant it.
Once he had chosen an area, he set to work with his shovel,
digging a deep hole then pushing the soil back in, breaking it up,
then re digging the hole. The whole time, he explained that he was
doing this to make sure the soil around the plant was loose so that
the roots could continue to grow. He emphasised that if this
wasn't done, then the roots wouldn't be able to spread, eventually
causing the plant to die. Once the plant was firmly in the ground
he turned, gave us a beautiful smile and proceeded to give advice
on when to water and how much.
Whilst this was happening, his brother arrived, who quietly sat
on the bench watching. When all the planting had been completed,
this patient was smiling and laughing. His brother commented over
and over that he never thought he would ever see his brother
gardening again and was very thankful.
It's not easy getting patients with organic illness to garden.
However, it's special moments like these that really make you
realise how worthwhile and important gardening can be.
Through this gentleman's experience, other patients' interest
was aroused with many watching through the window and
congratulating him on his good work.
To find out what else is blooming in the AWP gardens, click