NUBEENA, TASMANIA

Nubeena’s community garden has had a ‘facelift’ so that all the locals have a chance to stop and smell, touch, taste and pick the flowers. The DIGnity Garden program is about to start its autumn season of activities at the community garden, which is based at the Dunalley Tasman Neighbourhood House.

DIGnity, a not-for-profit organisation which provides therapeutic gardening programs, was supported by Highways and Byways to make the garden more accessible and dementia friendly with the addition of a sensory garden and an espalier apple orchard. Some DIGnity program participants are from the local aged care home and others are from the community and many have mobility issues.

DIGnity coordinator Hannah Fielder said the planting and redevelopment was done under COVID restrictions last winter and many of the flowers are now in bloom and the flowering herbs ready to be picked. It will be a couple of years before people can enjoy the apple orchard whose branches are trained to grow flat along a path, supported on wire.

The raised garden bed is a show of marigolds, lavender and sages and lots of flowering plants. Hannah said flowers and herbs were selected for their colour, smell and edibility.  A feature of the garden is the pizza oven and people involved in the DIGnity program, are invited to make a pizza using produce from the garden.

“We run programs that involve people from the aged care home and from the community. All our activities involve meaningful work and are done together with support,” Hannah said.

“The design of the garden means that it is a very welcoming and accessible space for everyone in the community, including children. We really want the activities to be inter-generational rather than running activities just for people with dementia”.