Groundwork Landscape Architects

Cedar Falls Nursing Home3 min read

ROLE: From conception to completion 

LOCATIONS: Spalding, Lincolnshire

CLIENT: Tanglewood, Cedar Falls Nursing Home as part of the Living Through Landscapes programme.

Background & Objectives: 

Cedar Falls Nursing Home is home to 93 residents, 80% of whom are living with dementia or cognitive impairments. The focus of the design was to create a visually open yet physically enclosed garden, to incorporate a variety of activities and sensory stimulations so that residents, their families, friends and staff can enjoy the home’s outdoor space more independently and fulfilling. Engagement with the residents and staff along with families and friends, supported by the groups’ dementia expert ensured needs and desires were met.   

Design Solution

Key design requirements for the garden included: improved boundary treatment with planting used to effectively soften the impact of the security railings; a versatile grassed space for activities such as bowling and putt-putt; accessible planters for sensory planting and gardening activities such as vegetable and fruit growing; an outdoor kitchen and barbecue area to enable outdoor dining and social activities; patio terrace with garden seating and overhead structures and arbours to create shelter and shade. 

We produced 3D visualisations to enable the Nursing Home community to understand the design proposals and ensure all aspects of their wish list were addressed. Using underlying principles to meet the needs of people with dementia, we ensured the garden had no hidden spaces and that the site was fully accessible, including access for wheelchair users. Colour of pavements and structures was important to minimise confusion and for features to provide visual clues for orientation and confidence of use.   

The garden aimed to not only provide a wide range of opportunities for leisure, relaxation and activities but also to encourage residents to feel able to access the space as an extension to the indoor accommodation and encourage them to spend more time all year round experiencing the benefits of plants and nature.  


The garden now provides the Nursing Home community with a year round facility which is flexible to accommodate a wide range of social, leisure and physical activities. 

As the project was nearing completion, a member of staff commented: 

“The garden is looking good, I am excited to see further developments. The flooring is great, it is softer and much safer for residents to walk on and a nice even surface. The space is a good space and the planters and walkways have a nice effect. I took a gentleman out there today with very high, advanced care needs. He has been out there several times recently. He finds it very calming and although it is not finished yet, what has been done so far has made a positive impact on him.” 

A resident told us: 

“The garden is looking great. We are looking forward to going out there and spending time growing things and looking at all the pretty areas. The surfacing will make it easier for us to get our walkers outside and walk on a nice surface.” 


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