Gracemere | Queensland

Blue Care - Gracemere Sensory Garden

Blue Care - Gracemere Sensory Garden

Project Highlights

The concept was created through engagement with the facility’s staff and residents to cater to their specific needs while allowing a high-quality and unique landscape outcome.
The design not only allowed the residents, staff and visitors of the facility a place to relax and connect with nature, but it also created bespoke design elements within the landscape which aimed to stimulate reminiscence and sensory experience in the residents to allow them to maintain mental acuity and slow the effects of their condition. These included elements like water features, a hill hoist clothesline, heritage boards with local imagery/art, a variety of flowering and perfumed plants, chicken coop, bocce lawn and sculptural garden
The design allowed multiple activity areas and shade elements to allow points of rest and relaxation throughout the landscape. It was important to consider the needs of not just the residents of the MSU but also their carers and visitors in designing a landscape with both variety and functionality.
LEAD Consultants were engaged to develop a landscape concept design of an extensive sensory garden within the Blue Care Gracemere facility’s Memory Support Unit. This process involved comprehensive site analysis, wide-ranging stakeholder engagement, and meticulous research to create a suitable and engaging sensory garden to cater for the needs of both the residents’ staff and visitors of the facility. After analysis of the site, the landscape concept design focused on creating spaces and activity areas informed by the layout of the existing facility which allowed a range of experiences and opportunities for recreation and therapy in the landscape. It has been proven that genuine interaction with a sensory garden can greatly improve the quality of life for Dementia sufferers and can slow the effects of the condition, and this was the central focus of the concept design.
Blue Care - Gracemere Sensory Garden - Gracemere | Queensland

Obstacle

To create a design which not only created green spaces for the facility, but allowed users to feel a genuine connection to nature and offer therapy and a positive experience of the landscape. This project also had very specific needs to ensure residents of the MSU, who mostly suffered from Dementia and other memory-related conditions, were adequately catered for.

Our Approach

There is strong evidence to show that being around gardens and landscape is therapeutic and can reduce stress levels and improve overall wellbeing. By improving the quality of the landscape through the sensitive design of the sensory garden, the residents’ exposure and connection to nature could be enriched to offer therapy in the landscape.

Careful research was undertaken to ensure the design catered to the very specific needs of Dementia sufferers and the concept offered a garden which provided variety with distinct areas that encouraged different sensory experiences. Areas for sun exposure and shade, areas for interaction, water features, furniture, sculptures, curiosities including art and memory boards and a wide mix of plant species. Safety and comfort were overarching principles of the design. Opportunities for both direct and indirect interactions with nature are present in the design and the concept identifies various types of landscapes which will offer different opportunities for stimulating reminiscence and sensory experience.


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