The environment has real, recognizable, beneficial influences on the human mind. It can boost one’s sense of well-being and may lower blood pressure and levels of stress. Our memory care courtyard at Clarendale of St. Peters was created by Jack Carman, a renowned expert who designs spaces based on these effects.
According to Carman, “Listening to birds, watching a sunset, feeling the breeze on our skin…being outside in nature has positive effects on our mood and outlook.”
With that philosophy in mind, Carman created an environmental oasis for memory care residents and their visiting families at Clarendale. Essentially a natural outdoor living space, the courtyard incorporates plant materials and hardscapes that appeal to all five senses.
Sight: Ornamental trees and multi-season shrubs catch the eye—from a Japanese Maple and Chinese redbud to a butterfly bush and arctic fire dogwood.
Sound: A fountain water feature, flanked by rocking chairs, invites residents and guests to sit, listen, relax and meditate. Bird feeders tempt chirping feathered friends to stay awhile.
Taste: An intimate grouping of tables and chairs call residents, staff and families to enjoy coffee, lunch or a snack outside—because everything tastes better in the sun!
Touch: Resident gardeners can get their hands dirty in raised planting beds or simply sit and relax under the room-size pergola with a light touch of wind to welcome them.
Smell: In addition to plantings of fragrant English lavender, planters are filled with herbs and flowers—from basil, parsley and sage to scented lemon, orange, apple and rose geraniums.
“Gardens are an essential component of any residence. Outdoor rooms can help individuals with dementia stay connected to the world around them,” says Carman.
About the Landscape Architect: Jack Carman, FASLA
The mastermind behind Clarendale of St. Peters’ memory care courtyard is the owner, founder and president of Design for Generations, LLC. With more than 20 years of experience as a landscape architect, Carman is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a nationally recognized expert in the design of therapeutic gardens, particularly for senior living communities and individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Characteristically, Carman’s plans for gardens and natural areas are designed to meet the physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of older adults using the gardens. As a Landscape Architect, he analyzes site conditions and creates design solutions that promote improved quality of life. His philosophy? Blend the built environment with more natural aspects of design, taking advantage of nature’s beauty and restorative powers.