We enjoyed a multi-sensory experience when we visited Blantyre Short Breaks’ beautiful garden. Not only is there texture, colour and smell wherever you look, but it’s full of interesting stories too…
The bedrooms at Blantyre Short Breaks used to overlook storage but when staff member Susan McAteer went on a Creativity at Work course, a Sense Scotland residential course to encourage support workers to tap into their own talents and bring them to work, it spurred her into action.
Susan said: “I realised we just weren’t making the most of our garden so the course gave me the inspiration to do something about it.”
A multi-sensory space
In 14 short months, Susan, her colleague Ann Forrester, along with Blantyre service-users, transformed the garden into a beautiful multi-sensory space full of colour and personality.
One service created a display using products from his pottery class. With teddy bears to represent his favourite football team and stars from his tattoo, the staff say it really reflects his personality.
The garden also has an apple tree and memory well to remember service users who have passed away.
The highlight of the Zen garden is a wooden gazebo strung with rainbow coloured lanterns. It’s a lovely place to sit in all weathers whether it’s basking in the sun or listening to the rustling of the leaves on cooler days.
There’s also magical fairy garden filled with fragrant lavender, and edible garden growing plums, strawberries, raspberries and mint.
The fishpond is a favourite of the residents where they enjoy feeding the family of goldfish.
Bringing the community together
The staff work closely with local organisation TACT Healthy Park.
Ann said: “We’re on a strict budget and every year TACT give us plants.
“It really brings people together – service users, staff and the community”.
Susan and Ann’s ambitions continue to grow with plans for a butterfly kingdom, wind chimes and even a bridge.