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‘Remember to Reflect’ at RHS Tatton

Alzheimers Society Hazel Bayley, Garden designer Louise Harrison-Holland, Alzheimers Society Jo Hawkins and Mills and Reeve Stephen McCann

Mills Reeve sponsors Alzheimer’s Society garden at prestigious flower show

Visitors to this year’s RHS Tatton Flower Show will be able to spend time reflecting in the dedicated Alzheimer’s Society garden, thanks to sponsorship from the Manchester office of national law firm, Mills Reeve.

Mills Reeve Consultant, Stephen McCann, specialises in issues affecting those who care for elderly friends and family and has strong personal links with the Alzheimer’s Society, having fundraised for the charity for over 20 years. Stephen devised the garden entitled, “Remember to Reflect” as a poignant way to highlight the work of the charity and raise valuable donations, while providing a peaceful space for contemplation.

Stephen spearheaded fundraising to bring the garden to fruition, reaching a grand total of £17,000 from private donations, as well as securing a host of gardening equipment from local suppliers. He also identified and approached experienced garden expert Louise Harrison-Holland to design the space, which took inspiration from Leonardo Da Vinci’s quote: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Set in the flower show’s new “Escape Zone”, the garden offers a secluded place for those affected by dementia and their carers to spend time relaxing together. A calming pool of water is surrounded by gentle colour tones, texture and movement created by grasses, perennials, trees and shrubs to soothe and calm the senses.

Stephen McCann said: “I’ve been a keen advocate of the Alzheimer’s Society for a number of years, and seen the positive impact it has on the lives of those affected by the disease in providing valuable support and information.

“I came up with the idea of sponsoring a garden as a way of highlighting the charity’s work in a new and interesting way that also provides a sanctuary where visitors can take a few moments from their day to relax in peace and quiet.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of all those who have donated time, money and equipment to bring the garden from the seeds of an idea to full bloom – I can’t wait to see the end result at the show in a few weeks’ time.”

Hazel Bayley, Alzheimer’s Society area manager for the North West, said: “We are delighted to have a garden dedicated to Alzheimer’s Society at the flower show and would like to thank everyone involved in making this possible, particularly Stephen McCann from Mills Reeve and garden designer Louise Harrison-Holland.

“Not only is it a wonderful event to be a part of but it is a great opportunity to raise awareness to help improve the lives of those living with dementia and their carers. A lot of hard work has been put in to organising the event and we hope lots of people will come and enjoy the garden. We are all excited to see the finished result.”

Garden designer, Louise Harrison-Holland said: “I was delighted when Stephen approached me to ask if I’d design the garden. It’s a very interesting project and a great opportunity to put together something a little bit different, with a real purpose.

“I’ve designed the garden as a space for quiet reflection; somewhere to reminisce and seek inspiration and pleasure in the simple joys of nature. Carers of people with dementia like to carry on doing things together for as long as possible as the illness progresses; this garden gives an ideal social activity that can be enjoyed together.”

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