Local people, staff included, raised $200,000 to fund the initiative two-and-a-half years ago after rehabilitation unit and allied health staff identified the need for a therapeutic garden as a way of helping an increasing number of patients experiencing cognitive difficulties. Horticultural Therapy Association of Victoria secretary Paul de la Motte, a renowned horticulturist, trainer, therapeutic garden designer and counsellor, was employed to consult on the redesign which included hand-railed steps for patients to exercise on, a sink for gardeners to wash their hands, a retractable all-weather awning, herbs and fruits that patients could pick and use in our rehab kitchen, and a soothing fountain. [cont ...]
'It's been found that as we age our ability to adapt to less than optimal conditions becomes more difficult, making the role of the environment increasingly important - particularly for those who are experiencing cognitive difficulties and diminishing physical dexterity,' rehabilitation unit manager Helen Moyle told guests at the official opening in March 2018, adding, 'A therapeutic garden is a garden environment that's designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses. This stimulation occurs courtesy of plants and the use of materials that engage people's senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound.'
It's incredible to see everyone's hard work come to fruition in creating such a beautiful, peaceful, calming space for patients, staff and visitors to enjoy. And we must send a shout out to our gardener Melinda (Bonnie) Grant who lovingly cares for it all.