Gar­den makeover

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

Some may boast about get­ting big­ger and bet­ter, but a Royal Oak com­mu­nity gar­den is cel­e­brat­ing be­ing smaller and smarter.

The Hori­zon Gar­den at CCS Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion was given an over­haul as part of a ma­jor re­de­vel­op­ment at the site.

The fo­cus is on ac­ces­si­ble gar­den beds raised to heights to suit chil­dren, wheel­chair users and the el­derly.

“It’s good for any­body who has trou­ble bend­ing,” says gar­den co­or­di­na­tor Scott Thie­mann.

“And the beds stay warmer, so we’ll get bet­ter growth.”

And work­ing in a re­duced plot size means be­ing smarter about space, Mr Thie­mann says.

Part of the old gar­den has be­come the site for a new pur­pose-built home for the dis­abil­ity ad­vo­cacy group.

The for­mer build­ing, a do­nated villa, is now rented by other com­mu­nity and health­fo­cused or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The re­vamped gar­den will still be used to help peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties learn about gar­den­ing.

But it’s also open to any­one who wants to vol­un­teer, at­tend a gar­den­ing class or just buy or­ganic veg­eta­bles.

The new CCS build­ing, opened ear­lier this year, was de­signed to set the stan­dard for ac­ces­si­bil­ity.

Team leader Steve Mathe­son says their spe­cial re­quire­ments gave con­trac­tors some­thing to think about.

The build­ing fea­tures au­to­matic doors inside the build­ing, plenty of space for wheel­chair users to ma­noeu­vre and a hear­ing loop.

And Mr Mathe­son says the fresh new fa­cil­ity sends an im­por­tant mes­sage to the com­mu­nity.

“We think sup­port­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­ity has high value, so we’re try­ing to re­flect that in our sur­round­ings.”

For de­tails on mas­ter gar­den­ing classes, phone 6259378.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

On the grow: An ac­ces­si­ble gar­den is be­ing cul­ti­vated at CCS Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion’s re­vamped Royal Oak site. From left: Scott Thie­mann, Paul War­ring­ton and team leader Steve Mathe­son.

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