When Margaret started chatting about her garden she became quite animated which planted the seed of an idea in Marie’s mind…
Marie had been visiting Margaret for about a month to help her prepare some meals and offer some companionship. One day they were looking through some photos and came across some pictures of Margaret’s garden – her face lit up. Marie started chatting to Margaret about her garden and she became quite animated.
“Margaret didn’t often show her emotions so it was great to see her so enthusiastic,” says Marie.
Thinking outside the box
Marie thought it would be a nice idea to get out in the garden and pot a few flowers with Margaret, but Margaret’s lack of outdoor table and limited mobility meant that a bit of thought was needed. Marie came up with the ingenious idea of putting a plastic cover over Margaret’s ironing board which could then be adjusted to exactly the right height. With a plan in mind, Marie raised the idea with Margaret’s daughter who was able to provide some gardening tools and pots and she left Marie some some money to buy a few plants.
When Marie spoke to Margaret about her idea, she became quite excited. Margaret had a diary that she used regularly to reassure and remind herself of plans for the coming week. Marie agreed a day with Margaret for the planting and she put it in her diary.
“She was looking forward to it so much,” remembers Marie. “She was so smiley and happy when we spoke about gardening and was happy to be doing it with me.”
Marie knew there wouldn’t be time within her visit to take Margaret out to choose the plants herself so she talked to Margaret, found out what she liked, and then visited the garden centre in her own time to buy the plants.
The day arrives
When the day came and Marie arrived, Margaret immediately told her what they had planned that day. “She remembered and was so excited.”
Marie gathered everything together, wrapped them both up warm and took Margaret out into the garden in her wheelchair. Marie carefully adjusted the ‘potting table’ to the right height for Margaret and they got started.
“Margaret was so happy, putting the soil in the pots and then popping the plants in – she did it all herself,” says Marie.
When they had finished, Marie put the pots just outside the door where Margaret could see them. She told Margaret how much she’d enjoyed it and Margaret said that she had too – “She kept kissing my hand and squeezing it as she was so happy – it was lovely to see as Margaret didn’t always smile.”
Marie printed some photos for Margaret of their day and wrote a short description on the back together with the date and sent copies to her daughter too.
“We enjoyed looking back over the photos together – she used to smile and point to the pots outside her door.”
Margaret’s health deteriorated not long afterwards and she sadly passed away.
“But I know that she loved the time we spent together in her garden,” says Marie, “and I’ve got some special memories too.”