IT was literally a blooming marvellous day for Burger Centre members, staff and volunteers on February 16, when a sensory garden was officially opened.
Bright sunshine, beautiful singing by 12-year-old Reddam student Janie Kogan, a delicious lunch, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony were enjoyed by all.
The garden, in the Burger Centre’s back courtyard, has facing benches, a waterfall feature, and garden beds with plants that smell sweet like jasmine, leucospermum shrubs that are interesting to touch, and plants that look beautiful like gazanias.
For the sense of taste, an edible flower and vegetables pod will be added next.
Burger Centre executive manager Christina Caddy-Gold said the launch was timed to immediately follow Tu b’Shvat – the Jewish new year for trees – but was postponed by one week due to stormy weather.
“In Israel, Tu b’Shvat is the time when the first sap starts rising in trees, well before we see any outward blooming.
“Here in our sensory garden, we have juvenile plants which may look small now, but with nurturing, will grow into a lush garden.
“Sensory planting is often designed to assist people to feel calm and grounded, and for their enjoyment, but it can also inspire the recollection of distant memories.
“Research has demonstrated that those living with dementia respond very well to sensory stimuli and reminiscent therapy, which is one of the main inspirations for the creation of this garden.”
Caddy-Gold thanked Montefiore CEO Robert Orie and JewishCare CEO Gary Groves for approving the project, and for arranging power and water supply for its irrigation system.
She also thanked Randwick Council for providing a grant, Greener Pastures for designing and installing the garden and for donating labour and time, Bunnings Eastgardens for donating some plants, and the Bondi and Districts Chamber of Commerce for donating signage, which is in production.
Rabbi Sam Zwarenstein, who recited a blessing for the garden, told the audience, “When we observe how a little seed can transform into something so beautiful and alive, we are overcome with awe and appreciation for G-d’s world.
“This is an amazing garden … may it bring all of us here much joy, pleasure, guidance, and inspiration, as it grows.”