Woodside Sensory Garden Project

The global pandemic has left us all frazzled and emotional and mentally drained. Finding something to hold onto from the ‘old’ and to help us renew our energy has been rather daunting. It was during this time, when we were all locked in at Woodside that the idea of developing the garden was borne. There was absolutely no place to run to other than the facility in which we were ‘captured’ by the pandemic. We were told to sit in the sun and get a dose of vitamin D to boost our immune system.

Flowers bring great joy and we created a set of hanging plants and beautiful flowers to beautify the front of the centre. This was created as a sign of love and hope to all including those passing by the centre. To the families who could not visit and see their children for so long, it was a sign to say ‘it is well’. We then started a vegetable garden on the strip of land running along 7th Avenue. The staff and residents were all involved and we planted seeds of our own and some provided by partners. The residents and staff thoroughly enjoyed the activity, just being outdoors stimulating their various senses.

Over the next two months we created a beautiful garden filled with indigenous plants, shrubs, flowers, water fountains, wind chimes, benches, a pergola, a stretch tent, a braai facility and so much more. We are in awe of how this has developed and it is now a safe space with wheelchair access for our residents. Residents are now enjoying the space for the fresh air, beautiful colours of the flowers, the sounds of the water fountain and wind chime and the birds coming to bathe and create nests in the space. Our staff are able to enjoy their tea and lunch breaks in this space too.

At the end of June 2021 and in celebration of our 45th anniversary, we launched our garden project at Woodside.

Spring has sprung and the butterflies and geckos are busy scurrying for insects, pollen and all that makes them happy and allows them to be at one with the ecosystem. We have been blessed with fresh vegetables from our garden which is used in our kitchen and some of the excess is sold to the staff. On a very small scale, we are able to supply vegetables to our monthly markets held right here at Woodside.

Recently we have had requests for the hiring out of the garden and we are keen for those who wish to use our facility to make the necessary enquiries through the website. The parents, neighbours and broader community are allowed to come and spend time in the garden and appreciate God’s amazing gifts to us all.