Research shows that among the five senses our olfactory sense (smell) has the strongest link to memory and therefore can also be a powerful trigger for someone with dementia.
Using this notion, renowned Dianthus specialists, Whetman Pinks UK, purpose bred a scented flowering plant - Dianthus ‘Memories’ – to raise funds for dementia research. In 2013, the plant made its way to Australian plant nurseries and in a collaboration between Plants Management Australia (PMA) and Dementia Australia Research Foundation (AADRF), $50,000 has now been raised toward dementia research from the plant sales.
With humble beginnings, Dianthus ‘Memories’ was created by Whetman Pinks Managing Director, Carolyn Bourne to honour her father and father-in-law who sadly passed away from Alzheimer’s disease.
‘Memories’ allows Australians to enjoy a little slice of the English countryside bred to suit our harsh conditions. It celebrates an impressive high intensity fragrance with a stand out repeat flowering habit, perfuming gardens in both autumn and spring. Naturally compact, and extremely hardy to cold and hot climates, ‘Memories’ is the perfect gift, performing equally well in garden beds, containers or as long lasting cut flower displays.
PMA Managing Director, Chris Sargent said he is proud to be able to make a difference in assisting those facing the challenges of dementia and is committed to continuing the partnership with the Dementia Australia Research Foundation (AADRF) by donating fifty cents from each ‘Memories’ plant sold to dementia research into the future.
“In 2016 we surpassed $50,000 from plant sales proceeds for Australia. More than￡15,000 has been raised in the UK. Therefore, in Australia we have raised nearly 50 per cent more than the UK, where the concept originated from,” Managing Director Chris Sargent said.
“Having won multiple awards in the UK and Australia, ‘Memories’ was incorporated into the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show in the exhibit ‘In Remembrance of Things Past’ which is an ode to Proust and the role which senses such as smell play in the ability to evoke memories and feelings from years before.
“Research shows us that smell is the last of all senses to be lost. This link, as well as PMA staff having a personal connection with the disease, was a key reason to continue the relationship with the AADRF in Australia.”
The plant is available for purchase in Mitre 10 and Bunnings stores as well as select garden nurseries nationally in April and again in September during Dementia Awareness Month. Fifty cents from the sale of each plant goes directly to the AADRF.
As a valued supporter of the AADRF, we would like to thank Plants Management Australia for the generous contribution they have made to the Foundation in supporting research into the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of dementia.
Plant your own ‘Memories’ to create a dementia friendly garden and support the fight against dementia today.
To visit the Plants Management Australia website for further information about the plant including care and suppliers click here.
For more information about the AADRF Dementia Grants Program or to apply for a grant such as the Plants Management Australia-Whetman Pinks Project Grant click here.
Photo provided by Plants Management Australia.