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Courtyard Gardens Come Alive at Resthaven

on the Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The courtyards at Resthaven Northern Community Services are overflowing with delightful raised garden beds, developed and maintained by clients, Mr David Nicholls and Mrs Jan Gaspari, and Occupational Therapists, Rosalind Wren and Mary-Anne Dempsey. 

"Mr Nicholls and Mrs Gaspari have worked with the ever-enthusiastic staff to plan, plant and maintain the garden, which has four above-ground gardens and several pots," says Mary-Anne.

"The group was formed two years ago, with some of the plants, pots, and potting mix brought in by clients from their own gardens to add that personal touch."

"Seasonal plantings are planned by the group, and when certain vegetables and herbs are ready, Rosalind uses the gardening group’s sessions to cook up delicious recipes using this fresh produce."

"Mrs Gaspari loved trying baked beetroot, and the tomato, lettuce and capsicum salad made in summer. She loves being involved in the planning process each season."

Her late husband had planned and managed their home garden, but she has some mobility limitations which prevent her from being able to manage new plantings herself.

With support from the Resthaven Northern Community Services team, Mrs Gaspari is gaining confidence in her gardening abilities, and also delights in discovering snippets of information learnt from her late husband that pop into her head.

Mr Nicholls’ home garden was replaced by lawn for easy maintenance, so he also enjoys the opportunity to garden once again.

The raised beds are easy for him to work on, and he is a fountain of knowledge about plants and their management. The gardens are flourishing under his care.

Until the recent cold overnight temperatures, the spinach and broccoli were flourishing, and the pretty petunias and pansies are a delight to see.

The cauliflowers are currently in hibernation mode, and a few grubs and caterpillars are feasting on the large green leaves.

Interspersed between these vegetables are spring onions, crinkle lettuce, and red beets. Several tulip bulbs are waiting for spring to arrive to encourage them to flower.

It’s not just the gardening group who benefit from the courtyard oasis. "Many other clients like to peruse the garden during their exercise programs, and are full of praise for what they find," Mary-Anne says.

To find out more about the support and wellness services available through Resthaven Community Services, please phone 1300 13 66 33 to be connected to your nearest location.