Yesterday a happy band of DIGgers* from young to old gathered at community allotment PLOT 22 for a couple of hours of wild pottering in the summer sunshine. Dementia Inclusive Gardening, or simply DIG, has met once a month (from March to November) since 2016, and after several months of time away brought on by lockdown, we are happy to be back, and delighted to be welcoming groups, safely, and with much joy.
For the moment, our group sizes are on the smaller side, to ensure safety and space. And with fewer numbers, it seems fitting to have a lighter structure to our time together. Yesterday was a bluebird of a day, and we pottered round the plot, snacking on berries, snipping herbs for cuttings, gathering posies, zinnia spotting, and one participant even did a little sketching.
Without even the gentle formality of an opening circle and closing circle (where we check in with one another), our conversation naturally turned to what we noticed and enjoyed about the season, and how much we enjoyed being outdoors together, soaking up the atmosphere at the allotment. We also noted that we were just about beginning to feel a coolness in the air, and wondered if autumn was on its way. We didn't have long to reflect on this though, as the youngest participant of the group was on the move, and ready to gather posies. 'Come on everyone!' he shouted joyfully over his shoulder as he dashed off, deep into the dahlias.
*Dementia Inclusive Gardeners
(Photo of DIG teamwork, with participant Andrew and grandson William gathering posies for everyone to take home. Shared here with kind permission).