Bygone Gardens

by sdownie in Angus

We did it
On 22nd September 2015 we successfully raised £1,965 with 42 supporters in 28 days

Creating gardens for people with dementia helping them spend more time with their families in gardens designed from times they remember.

by sdownie in Angus

What we want to do, with your help and generosity!

From October 2015 for a full year we will be creating gardens for people with dementia, helping them spend more time with their families in gardens designed from times they remember.

Dementia is really, really bad!

Dementia is a devastating condition and in Scotland there are around 90,000 people with different types of dementia. Angus alone has just under 2,500 people living with dementia in 2015. For each person directly affected there are on average 9 other people in their network or friends and family that are left with no choice but to try to come to terms with their dementia.

The effects of the condition include memory loss, fear, anxiety, confusion and loneliness. Not only for the person with dementia but also their close family and their carers who can suffer from further depression, social isolation and stress. The ripples that spread out through a family after a diagnosis of dementia can have huge blow and often come at a time when families are not prepared to deal with the negative impact that it has on them as a group or support network.

The Charity

At The Memory Box Network (charity registered in Scotland SC042610) we work to help improve the quality of life for not only the people with dementia but also for their families and wider support networks. Everything we do is to try and find ways to help the families and friends of people with dementia to spend more time with them. This helps in so many ways from combatting depression to helping them remember stories from times in their lives that allows them to share stories and laugh, smile and sometimes even cry.

Our work uses reminiscence to connect with people who have dementia and find subjects they like to talk about. We then use this to chat through stories from their past and really help them to remember the things that they enjoyed throughout their life

Bring a little smile and happiness to someones life!

Our Bygone Gardens project works on a simple idea, one that we want to start with a small group in Angus and then with your help in proving it works we will then be able to make the project a more established service and improve lives right across the region.

We will find up to 10 families of people with dementia who have enjoyed gardening through their lives, it might have been when they were a child or bringing up their own family or even from a time when they lived abroad. Then we will sit with them and hold reminiscence sessions with the person and their family and friends. From there our gardener and designers will work with the family to design a garden that will mean the most to their loved one and as a charity we will find a group of volunteers to work alongside the family to create a fantastic space that they can enjoy and spend time in.

The gardens we create together will be based on a decade that the person likes to talk about most whether it is a simple war time garden from the 1940s of a lawn with square borders of annuals or a 1970s rockery with different alpine shrubs. Who knows maybe even a cheeky Pampas Grass in the front lawn is what they remember. We will source and plant anything that works for them in their very own garden design 


“However many years she lived, Mary always felt that 'she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow'.” - Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

What will we do with your hard earned cash?

The money you give us will be used to pay for the people to work on the project, to buy the plants and the supplies the gardens needs and to find the volunteers that we can train up to leave a legacy effect from the project where we can build on helping the local community help each other and build a more inclusive community for not only the person with dementia but also their family and care networks.

The Memory Box Network has teamed up with local Angus gardener Steve Follett to deliver the project and to help the families hit hard by someone in their life developing such a horrible condition. If we can help those families to spend more time together we can help them address the fear, anxiety and loneliness. We can help them spend more time together and that has huge health benefits for everyone and even better, we can do this for them in their own garden, not in a space somewhere else but in their own homes where they can spend time in everyday!

We know that by doing this we can help people be happier, to have less stress and a whole heap of other positive outcomes but we can only do it with your help. We have the knowledge that will make this work, we have all the volunteering accreditations we need, and we have a fantastic gardener that wants to make a difference now all we need is your help.


£10 – Feel great about helping people to smile again!

Support our project by giving us £10 and we will give you a digital thank you on both our Twitter account and our Facebook page. You also get to feel great about helping someone who has dementia to make them share some time with loved ones and help them smile, laugh and enjoy themselves!

£25 – Buy someone a plant and spend some time together!

Help us to raise enough money to fund the project and we will send you a pack including a plant for your garden in spring next year! Part of this whole project is about getting people to spend time together so we will send you a pack for you to spend time putting a plant in someone else’s garden and also include a little surprise that will make the whole visit more relaxing!

£50 – The most expensive cup of tea you will buy, also the most enjoyable!

Pledge £50 and you will be invited to experience a day out with our gardening team helping to make our project a reality. We will invite you to a time and a place next year for you to come along to one of the gardens we are working on and spend time with the gardener and find out more about the approach we have and what plants and features have proven most popular. OK, you guessed it, this is a way to get more volunteers to come along on the days to help but what you will get in return is a great time, spend time with some fantastic people and more to the point you will see first-hand on the ground where your money is being spent and the happiness that it is bringing, we will even provide the tea and coffee, maybe some biscuits - well worth the £50!

£100 – Let us know about someone we can help!

Nominate a person with dementia to become part of the project for only £100. If you dig deep and give us your hard earned cash we will not only invite you along to help out at the persons garden but we will let you nominate a person to work with. It might be someone in your own family or it might be someone in your street or local community that you know has been hit by dementia and you want to do something nice for them. We don't even mind if you want to stay anonymous, we will do all the work and you can sit back and relax knowing that you have done something fantastic for a family that will get great enjoyment out of your giving!

£500 –  The Big One!

Sponsor a whole garden for a family with someone living with dementia. The cost of providing the plants and materials for a single garden in the project is £500. If you are a local company or individual and you want to help bring some happiness and support for a family hit by dementia we will provide the management and knowledge if you provide the money. Not only do you get to feel great about doing this but we will also advertise your sponsorship on a plaque in the garden you have sponsored and also as a major donor on our own website and mention you in all our press releases about the project.

To find out more about our organisation go to


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Feel great about helping people to smile again! All for only £10, bargain!

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Buy someone a plant and spend some time together!

£50 or more

£50 Reward

The most expensive cup of tea you will buy, also the most enjoyable!

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Let us know about someone we can help!

£500 or more

1 of 10 claimed

£500 Reward

The Big One! If you want to feel great and get some fantastic promotion this is the one for you!

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