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Sensory Garden
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Resthaven: Memory Enhancement Unit
Sensory Garden


The brief required an inviting landscape to connect and stimulate the senses of residents living with dementia. The solution is a vibrant, engaging sensory garden for a 12m x 8m internal courtyard overlooked by a lounge and bedrooms.

The courtyard is primarily a stimulating yet relaxing area for the newly developed Memory Enhancement Unit (MEU). Resthaven is keen to move away from the traditional institutional models of care preferring instead areas that will trigger old memories and feelings, adding value to the resident’s life.

The MEU sensory garden stimulates all the senses;

Concrete horse troughs were used for the raised planters and pond ensuring they are at easily accessible heights for the residents. A loop path provides a ‘way finding’ link through the gardens and pond. Artificial turf was used in place of grass due to the difficulty of accessing the courtyard with a

Plan and Garden

The walls are finished in Resene X-200 weathertight membrane tinted to Resene Pavlova on Rockcote Integra panel. The troughs were painted in five different colours that relate to the plants, water and other elements in the surrounds. These colours also brighten the courtyard through all seasons. The troughs feature Resene Wicked, Resene Hero, Resene Pohutukawa, Resene Spinnaker and Resene Spirulina. Resene Lumbersider low sheen waterborne paint was specified for these for its ease of application and coverage over the concrete and its durability in an outdoor situation.

Residents may participate in gardening or seating is provided for those who just wish to sit quietly. Shade is provided by an overhead shade cloth and an adjacent veranda area allows for appreciation of the garden in all weather.

Garden view

Enjoying the garden

Colour swatch
Resene Pavlova
Colour swatch
Resene Wicked
Colour swatch
Resene Hero
Colour swatch
Resene Pohutukawa
Colour swatch
Resene Spinnaker
Colour swatch
Resene Spirulina

Architectural Specifier: Glen Brownlee, Environs Ltd
Building Contractor: Livingstone Building Ltd
Colour Selection: Sheryn Brownlee, Environs Ltd
Landscape Design: Environs Ltd
Landscape Contractor: Form Landscaping
Painting Contractor: Kevin Wanless, Form Landscaping
Photographer: Tania Samuels, Intec Design

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