RELATIVES of Annie May Howse reckon she would have adored the garden made possible by her bequest to Adventist Senior Living, at Cooranbong.
The Lavender Garden, named by residents after the Lavender Terrace section of the aged care facility, was officially opened and dedicated on March 1.
Ms Howse, who died in 2010 aged 99, had been a resident of Adventist Senior Living for several years.
Her daughter-in-law, Inge-Lise Butler, spoke of Ms Howse’s lifelong love of gardens.
“For Mum, the garden was so important. You could not see a weed anywhere,” Ms Butler said.
“When we visited her in Perth, they had such a huge, beautiful garden that buses stopped and took tours.”
Ms Butler said Ms Howse loved her time at Adventist Senior Living.
“The only think she missed was a garden. I can see why this is what she really wanted you to have,” she said.
After inspecting the garden with her husband Dr Russell Butler, Ms Butler said Ms Howse would have been very impressed.
“She would have loved this,” she said.
“She missed her garden, so she would have absolutely loved coming out here.”
Pastor Kenn Duke said the garden was to be enjoyed by all residents and staff.
“You’re welcome here. This is your space. Your space to enjoy and bring your guests,” he said.
Avondale Senior Living board chairman, Pastor Paul Geelan, said Ms Howse had served with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fiji, America and Sydney.
“It’s her generosity that has made all of this possible,” he said.
The garden was designed by Newcastle-based urban designer Mark Tisdell, of MUD (Mark Tisdell Urban Design), and project managed by Adventist Senior Living’s CEO David Knight.
Mr Tisdell said it was rewarding to see his design brought to fruition.
“This is a small space, but I’ve tried to create a few different micro-climates and different zones,” he said.
He said it was designed to cater for three or four different family groups at a time, and featured some tactile features, such as raised garden beds. A barbecue and music system will be added to the garden.