In Summary

  • A magical pop-up garden designed by Swinburne students and staff
  • An interactive sensory experience for people of all ages
  • Visit the garden at the upcoming free community event

A magical pop-up garden, designed by teachers and students from Swinburne University of Technology is set to awaken the senses at the Villa Maria Catholic Homes and CityLink Out & About Fun Day.

The sensory garden will enable people of all abilities and ages to experience the garden in an interactive way.

Team Leader for Horticulture and Environment, Stewart Detez, said ‘sensory’ means more than just smell; it’s about colour, taste and memory.

“In our design last year we used emotional triggers to bring memories back for the visitors of the garden, hopefully they were good memories. This year, the focus is on allowing people to interact with the garden space, see the garden as part of everyday normal life,” Mr Detez said.

Mr Detez said some of the elements included an outdoor dining setting where salad is ‘grown in front of you’, bench seating with scented plants, and a cube of succulents with a variety of colours and textures.

“People will come in and enjoy the quirky ideas of the garden, which will hopefully give them a sense of joy and a little bit of humour,” Mr Detez said.

“We see this as an opportunity to educate the public about how important the garden is, and how easy it is to include plants into our living spaces and our lifestyles.

“Following on from last year, it’s still about promoting to the community that the garden is an extension of our living space and that gardens aren’t sterile, they are places that we should be using as a place to relax, entertain and promote healing of the mind, body and soul.”

The Out & About event aims to challenge community perceptions of social inclusion with a huge line up of all abilities and all ages activities.

Out & About Ambassador, wheelchair tennis champ Luba Josevski, Aussie rock icon Ross Wilson and Melbourne indi band Wire Bird will be joining the free community event that enables everyone to experience life as it should be – 100 per cent accessible.

There will be a range of free modified sports at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, a ‘Come & Try’ cricket clinic held by Cricket Victoria and wheelchair tennis demonstrations by Tennis Australia.

Throughout the day there will be free exercise classes including tai chi and chi ball, two minute massages, an animal farm, jumping castle, face painting, free sausage sizzle and ice creams.

The Out & About Fun Day is on at Albert Park, Aughtie Drive, on Sunday, November 29 from 12-4pm.

A special mention to Swinburne staff and students for donating their time and talent and the following businesses for their in-kind support:

  • Form Boss Pty Ltd
  • Humphris Nursery
  • Speciality Trees
  • Budget Dandenong