Mairi’s Community Garden
Around 2004 the idea of creating a sensory garden for people with memory loss, early onset dementia or physical disability was floated and grasped, pursued and powered by Mairi Spedding over the next 5 years. Therefore, Mairi’s Garden holds historical relevance and is dedicated to Mairi Spedding the well-loved co-ordinator of Eastwood Community Centre for 19 years until her battle with cancer finally ended in September 2009.
Mairi’s Garden was designed by a horticultural therapist Glenda Williams of the Horticultural Therapy Society and funded by the City of Burnside and the Department of Families and Communities. The Garden is based on sensory principles, incorporating seating which enables a visitor to interact with the sensory benefits of the plants. The design is intentional, it takes into account the needs of the people who will use it. Look at the pathways and notice the familiar red brick patterns and concentric circles it uses. These familiar patterns help to minimise disorientation for people who experience memory loss and soothe the thoughts of others. There are seats built into curved raised beds to allow for passive involvement in gardening activities – so if you can’t be a gardener then you can sit and watch the gardeners.
Today the garden is well served by a group of volunteers who work diligently to keep the garden well planted and looked after throughout the seasons. Anyone can volunteer their time in the garden whether it be for an hour or more per week. The garden is a public park and is open to the public for use during the week or on the weekend, it has become a favourite place for families to hold their children’s birthday parties.
Contact the office staff to find out more about becoming involved in Mairi’s Garden.
Free Little Garden Library – Sit and read in the garden. Borrow a book and leave a book for others to enjoy.