As mentioned in my last blog post, the raised beds had been severely damaged. After discussing the practicability of the raised beds with staff, I found that raised beds are not any more advantageous for wheel chair users than normal flat beds are. I decided to change the plans and remove the raised beds, this fitted with our model for sustainability as it meant the garden was a lot easier to maintain the long run.
Getting rid of the raised beds meant hiring a skip, which meant tenancy meeting. This impacted the budget and a lot of man power was required to shift the more than 3 cubic metres of soil.
The works began on the garden and would continue for my remaining time on the internship. We were slightly delayed as BT sent a team, as a part of their charity pledge, to clean up the garden; however they had not completed their works and the wooden borders containing the existing raised beds had been damaged.
As the garden hadn’t been maintained or weeded for more than several years a good deal of time was spent clearing these weeds and trees growing out of the patio slabs. We were again delayed as we weren’t clear to use chemicals in the garden as there were several pets and we didn’t want to risk poisoning them.
According to the project timetable we set ourselves, the first two weeks were dedicated to research and planning. As I’ve only ever visited sensory gardens my knowledge on them was limited, so before drawing up the plan I wanted to see other supported living facility gardens to see how they utilise their space. There was an issue as there weren’t other homes like ours within reach. Instead I contacted several sources which normally provide sensory gardens with the necessary equipment to gain insight on what’s more popular.
I organised several meetings with different gardening agencies to gather their perspective and used that as the foundation to the planning.
During my time with the internship we’ll be designing and constructing a sensory garden for a local supported living facility, funded and maintained by a charity called FitzRoy. FitzRoy is a great organisation I’ve worked with before; they focus on helping and supporting families and individuals with learning disabilities. For more information visit http://www.fitzroy.org/
As I mentioned I have worked with FitzRoy before, this is why I asked to intern here. While working there last summer I noticed that their garden was in a state of disrepair and so I proposed a project to my supervisor. I wanted to create a sensory garden.