St Michael’s Care Home

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  • Care home garden for elderly and infirm residents.
  • Sea front location requiring shelter.
  • Plant selection for seasonal variety in an exposed setting.
  • Dedicated dementia garden.

St Michael’s Convent in Clacton-on-Sea invited us to design the landscape for their new care home for nuns and priests.The site was on the sea front with the original gardens being behind the convent. The architect’s new plan placed the gardens at the front of the site, looking towards the sea.

This put the garden in a pleasant location but presented challenges of shelter and protection, both for the elderly residents and for the plants in the garden. Our design used hard and soft landscaping with careful selection of plants that would thrive in the exposed location and would give seasonal variety. We split the garden into smaller accessible areas with a route around the garden creating a journey with a number of stopping-off points that provided shelter and places to rest, such as a bespoke steel gazebo and a pergola with climbers. We placed a small dementia garden within the main garden.

This was an enclosed space to give a feeling of security with a simple design and a clear pathway to follow to encourage a sense of familiarity. The garden has become a secure and peaceful place to enjoy the sea air and views and it’s been satisfying to see the residents of St Michael’s enjoying that.

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