Gardeners, come learn about landscape design for people with dementia

Folks are invited to bring their brown bag lunch and learn a little about gardening as the La Porte County Master Gardeners continue offering informative sessions to the public.

The next in the Brown Bag Gardening Series, “Landscape Design for People Living with Dementia,” is set for noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at the La Porte County Extension Office, 2857 W. State Road 2, LaPorte, Ind.

(NOTE: This is a change of location from previously announced.)

Master Gardener and Environmental Designer Darla Aldred will speak about how the connection between nature and people is inherent. Encouraging greater interaction with landscape and gardens provides better quality and enjoyment of life and has a positive impact on health.  She will discuss the unique considerations for providing a safe, attractive, and useful landscape for those living with dementia.

Aldred is a Principal at Arkos Design, and a licensed Landscape Architect with over 25 years of experience in designing the outdoor environment.  She has a background integrating the needs of the aging into site design, and strives to find a harmonious balance between the client’s program and environmental considerations.  Darla has a specific interest in biophilic design and the influence of landscape and nature on people’s well-being.

This is a great session for those who have a family member with dementia and want them to continue to enjoy the outdoors.

The group will discuss things that may keep people with dementia from enjoying nature, and how to make gardening and nature more accessible. In addition, the group will review how to keep those with dementia safe and comfortable in the garden.

No reservation is needed.  The nominal $5 admission charge covers expenses for this event.

Gardening is one of America’s most popular hobbies. According to a recent National Gardening Association report, 42 million households in the US (35%) grew their own food in a garden.  That’s an increase of 17% over the past five years, with most of that growth coming from younger households.

Get a “jump-start” on gardening this year by participating in one or all of the sessions in the award-winning  The Brown Bag Gardening Series, sponsored by the La Porte County Master Gardener Association.  In 2015, the series won a statewide Search for Excellence award in 2015  for educational service conducted by Purdue Master Gardeners.

The next session, “The Potager Garden,” is scheduled for noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 at the extension office.

For more information about the sessions in the Brown Bag Gardening Series, please call Purdue Extension – La Porte County at 219-324-9407.  A flyer can also be downloaded at; click on the “Garden” heading at top of the web page or go to the La Porte County Master Gardener website

The La Porte County Master Gardener Association is one of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service programs and helps fulfill the state motto of “Helping Others Grow” by training volunteers to promote good gardening and horticultural practices.  The Association accomplishes this through its volunteers conducting educational activities and projects in the community throughout the year.  For more information about the Purdue Master Gardener Program or about becoming a Master Gardener, please contact the La Porte County Extension office at 219-324-9407 or visit and link to “Master Gardeners” under “Garden.”

The report from the National Gardening Association referred to above can be downloaded at (12.5 MB); an “executive summary” of the report can be viewed at

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