Progress Pictures! A labor of love....a therapeutic garden for my Mom

by Sunshineintampa
4 Weeks
My mom is 87 years old and has Alzheimer and vascular dementia that is worsening. As a recent nursing graduate I knew that keeping her safe from wandering outside had to be my number one priority. My mom has developed expressive aphasia (inability to communicate) but we still manage to communicate with her and she answers yes or no...

During the summer when my little girls had summer vacation we visited and did lots of things with my mom, but now that school started Mom managed to let everyone know that she is bored, feels like she is in a prison because she is locked up, and is upset that she cant go outside on her own to check the mail, to pull some weeds, to sweep driveway, etc..

I love my mom, and it breaks my heart to limit her freedom, she was a very independents, outgoing talkative person, but as a nurse I know that even though she might have some lucid moments, it only takes one time for her to get confused and not be able to find her way back home, and it only takes one fall to break a hip. It occurred to me that If I put up a few pieces of fence to close up the yard, then I could create for her a backyard paradise where she can enjoy the beauty of her new butterfly / wildlife garden. Being that my previous career was construction management and licensed home builder I decided to tackle on the task of building my mom her own backyard paradise.

9/8/13 and so on the shopping begins.... I visited 2 big box stores and a few smaller stores trying to find the best deals and clearance items. My huge SUV was packed with plants, garden decorations, mulch, etc....
9/9/13 First day of work...Moms caregiver calls to tell me that my mom saw the flowers outside and she got very happy! Mom is emotional and tearing up and tells the caregiver that no one has ever done a garden for her (this is the 3rd garden I do for her).

I planted most of the flowers, I want the plants to start growing right away.
9/10 Bought the fence material and stored in in the garage, we have to replace 75 slats on the old fence and install the remaining two sides. After the fence has dried up we will be painting it white (per my moms request). I'm very excited because I am going to have my two girls help me paint a mural on the fence. We are going to use their handprints to represent flowers and I will write something along "Grandma's Garden."

9/10 Installed the water fountain to incorporate the soothing sound of water and to attract wildlife.

9/11-9/12 Hubby finished installing the fence, the yard is now secure!

Progress to follow soon.
Ugly, un-used patio. Direct sunlight in the morning and mid afternoon. 9/8/13
Planted the flower pots, dug two holes and mixed the concrete for the two arbor columns that will be covered in vines and will support the shade fabric. Waiting for concrete to dry. 9/9/13
Pink Mandevillas should cover columns very quickly...its going to be beautiful! 9/9/13
Success! Pink Mandevillas are quickly growing up the columns 9/24/13
Welcome butterflies, dragonflies, bumble bees and friends....
Love this purple Golden Dewdrop.
View from inside the house. 9/10/13. Still missing shade cover.
Vincas in different colors to soften the concrete tiled edge. 9/9/13
Installed the water feature but I still need to landscape around it 9/10/13
Plants around fountain are doing good. vincas, coleus, lantana, and milkweed.
Bird and squirrel buffet in the middle of the yard! 9/9/13
Ugly corner.
Cleaned up the ugly corner, planted one more Heliconia and 2 yellow Cannas...this will be her "Angel Garden"
under construction...fence
Plans for this corner is to build and install a DYI pallet porch swing with a pergola for shade with of course some more climbing flowers! 9/9/13
under construction fence + gate... 9/9/13
Girls working....or shall I say hardly working...who wants to work when you can spray each other with the water hose... 9/10/13
Setting the fence posts. 9/10/13
What better opportunity to ask hubs to fix the sprinkler line I broke than while he waits for concrete to set? 9/10/13
The culprit of the broken sprinkler line a pretty new Jane Cole Hibiscus. 9/10/13
First panel is done yay! 9/10/13
Fence and gate done.
Mom "the boss" supervising : ) 9/10/13
Planted a pretty Buddleia for the butterflies 9/16/13
The fence repairs are almost done! Added some garden art that I found on sale : ) 9/18/13
Got some bird houses on sale for $2.50!!!!
Trying out my DIY removable shade fabric. Bought the roll online from Home Depot.
It was so easy to install. Folded the fabric, used some grommets, and screwed a hook into the fascia board.
This is what it looks like from the inside. Now that I know that my design works and that is mother approved I am going to order the second roll to finish it.
Caught this beauty at mom's garden!
Today we enjoyed the garden together : )
Plants are adjusting well.
10/14/2013 I hope the squirrels find their food...had to relocate due to neighbor cutting all his trees.
10/14/2013 Wohoooo finally finished the shade cover. Now time to get some furniture!
10/13/2012 1Well the back neighbor decided to cut down all the trees! I hope the birds and squirrels still come visit but now they don't have a tree to hide or perch on.
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5 of 30 comments
  • Sunshineintampa Sunshineintampa on Oct 02, 2013
    New pics posted.

    • See 2 previous
    • Sunshineintampa Sunshineintampa on Oct 03, 2013
      Thanks guys!

  • Sunshineintampa Sunshineintampa on Oct 03, 2013
    Thanks Douglas! You know how cruel the Florida sun can be.