Accessibility statement

My home, my garden story: exploring how people living with dementia access and use their garden in everyday life


The Study

The My home, my garden story project aims to explore the role of gardens in the everyday lives of people with dementia who are living at home. Research in care home settings highlights the significance of outdoor spaces for the well-being of people living with dementia, but also that gardens are often underused. This reflects a disconnection between garden design and the everyday experiences of people living with dementia, as well as staff concerns about risks.

There is little research on the continued role of gardens in the everyday lives of people with dementia who are living at home. A better understanding of how, when and why people with dementia living at home use their gardens may help improve support and design for the use gardens in community and care contexts.

Pilot study - research methods

We conducted pilot research with 6 households including people living with dementia and family members during March-July 2020. This included:

  • an initial qualitative interview, including a filmed walking interview around the garden
  • participants were then invited to complete a diary in the format of their choice, including photo-diaries, written diaries, and filmed diaries.
  • a follow up interview was then conducted to explore the meanings of diaries with participants.
  • artist Lynne Chapman sketched gardens and garden activities featured

Research Outputs

View the reseach findings in the project's summary report: 0report (PDF , 1,398kb)


Dementia, Care and Covid-19, A New Era, A New Approach?

My home, my garden story: interspecies relationships in the gardens of people living with dementia,


Dr Christina Buse (PI)

Dr Sarah Noone (Research Associate) 

Emeritus Professor Sarah Nettleton  (Co-I), University of York

Professor John Keady (Co-I) University of Manchester

Dr Andy Balmer (Co-I) University of Manchester



  • Timeline: Pilot research conducted during March-July 2020
  • Funding: University of York Research Priming Award, 2019-20
  • Contact Details: Dr Christina Buse,