There are all kinds of gardens at Enliven’s Brightwater Home, each valued by staff and residents, says recreation officer Rose Fowler.
“In the past we’ve picked things we’ve grown from our vege gardens and made savoury muffins and other delicious things.”
Staff and residents were gearing up to plant some more vegetables and herbs recently, with help from the My Little Garden plants from New World.
“We asked staff and family members to bring in any spare that they had and we managed to collect quite a few!” says Rose.
“We have some residents who are quite keen on gardening. Lorraine is always keen to help out when we talk about doing some work in the garden.”
There are raised beds in one courtyard area at Brightwater Home, which makes resident involvement in gardening much easier, Rose says.
This year she says they are planning to plant up separate gardens for herbs and vegetables.
An ongoing connection with gardens and gardening aligns with Enliven’s philosophy of care, which follows the Eden Alternative.
Rose explains that when residents have frequent access to nature it can help combat the feelings of loneliness, helplessness and boredom that can occur in elders.
Herbs and vegetables are not the only things growing in gardens at Brightwater Home.
At different times of year there are a variety of flowers blooming of all different colours.
In the courtyard area of the home’s secure dementia unit, called Kiwi, Rose says there are generally more flowers growing than anything else.
“Many of the residents enjoy wandering around the garden and picking the flowers to bring inside.”
Brightwater Home and Village is operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central. It offers independent retirement living, hospital, dementia, health recovery and palliative care. To learn more, visit www.enlivencentral.org.nz or call 06 356 4190.