He may no longer be with them, but there is a corner of a care home in Wellington, Somerset, that will remain forever in the thoughts of Neil Gale’s children, grandchildren and friends.
Neil, who had dementia and was a resident at Camelot Lodge nursing home run by Camelot Care, sadly passed away in June at the age of 74.
Following his death, Neil’s eldest daughter Kirsty Harris donated herbs and plants for the garden in memory of her late father.
Kirsty, along with grandchildren, Aaron and Alexandria, joined Camelot activities assistant Sophie Carter to carry out the planting.
“Our family are very grateful for the care dad received at Camelot and we wanted to give something back to the other residents to enjoy with the activities team,” said Kirsty.
“We choose a herb garden as it is accessible and can be used to evoke good memories. I hope the residents and team will enjoy the different scents and textures.
“It is such a comforting thought that his memory will live on in the garden and that people who knew him might pause a moment and think of him.
“Dad was a keen gardener all his life and I have many fond memories of gardening with him at the weekends. He enjoyed planting tomatoes with the activities team at Camelot and it’s nice to see them growing now.
“It’s apt that there is a scented rose already in the sensory area. Dad always picked a rose from the garden for mum. He loved their colour and fragrance.”
Camelot activities organiser Richard Dempslake said Neil loved gardening and being out in the fresh air and that the sensory garden meant a lot to him.
“For people with dementia walking, gardening, or just moving outside are incredibly beneficial to promoting and performing physical activity,” said Richard.
“Being around plants has a wonderful calming effect and for Neil it enabled him to step outside of himself for a moment and relax.”
Neil, who was born in Wilmington, Salisbury, lived in Devon for the past 35 years.