Friday, June 15, 2007
Friday Flowers: Sensory Gardens
Cathy wrote a poignant post this week about a couple of elderly ladies she observed walking in a park. Working with the elderly, I know too well the things that can go wrong as we age. I have to remember that I see the sick population and have far less interaction with those who age well.
Age related visual loss is an unfortunate reality for many people Most of us will develop cataracts in time, and these can be surgically removed. Far more devastating is macular degeneration where central vision is lost. These people may be able to see a face, but not the features. Life is a blur of shapes and there is little that can be done to reverse the condition in most cases. Overexposure to sunlight, smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol and some vitamin deficiencies may contribute to its development. Like so many degenerative conditions, lifestyle plays a significant role in its development.
I closed my eyes when I visited the garden this week. The scent of the peonies was heavy in the evening air. Bumblebees moved among the blooms. A cardinal was singing in a nearby tree and the trickling water of the water feature added to the musical effect. The plants included Lamb's Ear, with its soft fuzzy leaves, Lavender and Bee Balm.
Those of us who see well can also appreciate the touch and scent of flowers. I noticed a young mother allowing her toddler to smell the flowers and gently touch the leaves. I crush one or two lavender leaves in my hand each time I go in my garden as it is one of my favourite smells.
What would place and plant in a garden if you or someone you loved could not see well? Have you ever visited a sensory garden in your travels?