Category Archives: Patient Wellness Garden

Wellness Garden survives the heat

On 01 March, the Bellingen Courier-Sun published our good news story …

The hard work of our gardening volunteers paid off, and the Patient Wellness Garden survived water restrictions and multiple heatwaves.  And this year, the Volunteer Appreciation Day Morning Tea is to be held in the garden. It’s great to see the garden being used and appreciated.

Wellness Garden survives the heat



The Patient Wellness Garden

On Wednesday 15th June 2016, twelve months of hard work by the BHAG Volunteer Gardeners was recognised at the official opening ceremony of the Patient Wellness Garden.

Patient Wellness Garden plaque

Patient Wellness Garden plaque

The ceremony was attended by MNCLHD senior management, Bellingen Council, the Lions Club, members of the Gumbaynggirr community, BHAG Volunteer Gardeners, the Pink Ladies Auxiliary, the Foster Family, hospital staff and numerous other community organisations and individuals who had all played a part in bringing the PWG project to its successful conclusion.

You can read the full story and see more photos by following this link to the BHAG Volunteer Gardeners website:   Patient Wellness Garden Opening Ceremony


Letter from Bellingen Shire Council …

In January, Bellingen Shire Council wrote to BHAG commending us on our exemplary delivery of the Environmental Levy Community Fund Project – the Patient Wellness Garden at Bellingen Hospital.  We were thrilled to receive this letter, and heard on the grapevine that ours  was the best documented community project ever!

BHAG receives funding for a Patient Wellness Garden

Bellingen Shire Council provides up to $5,000 annually from the Environmental Levy Community Fund for projects to be undertaken by the Community to improve/restore the Environment on Public Land.

The Bellinger Health Action Group Inc. (BHAG) successfully applied for funding ($5,000) in August of 2014 to Landscape the areas surrounding the new Sub-Acute Wing at Bellingen Hospital.  The name of our project is the PATIENT WELLNESS GARDEN.

PWG Concept Design

PWG Concept Design

The garden(s) will be a unique and sustainable environment integrating the adjacent Arboretum and the new Rehabilitation & Palliative care Sub-Acute Wing.  This external area may assist in improving the health outcome for patients at BRDH and by providing a location for family & visitors to be with their loved ones outside the clinical wards.

This large project is managed by BHAG.  We have invited 7 other Community service organisations to participate:

PWG Gazebo - Draft Plan

PWG Gazebo – Draft Plan

  • Bellingen Lions Club with assistance from Grahame Maddeford’s Bobcat, will roughly spread mulch, lift & relocate old brick pavers for recycling; undertake some minor ground works to manage erosion & prepare the site for a concrete slab for the Gazebo Shelter. The Lions Club will undertake many other works including funding & constructing the Gazebo & associated furniture providing a much needed Rest & Rehabilitation area for patients as a memorial to Carl Foster.
  • Bellingen Rotary Club will assist in many works such as manually spreading mulch, stacking the recycled brick pavers on pallets etc.
  • Free Masons – Raleigh Lodge – will donate plants for the gardens.
  • Australian Plant Society will donate plants for the gardens & assist with planting.
  • Bellingen High School will decorate the Bird Bath with an indigenous mosaic design.
  • Bellinger River District Rose & Garden Club will donate plants for the gardens & assist with planting.
  • Bellinger Valley VIEW Club will assist with planting.
  • The Bellinger River District Hospital (Mid North Coast Local Health District) will construct the Concrete Slab & the disable access path for the Gazebo & assist in many other areas of the project.
  • Local artists have been invited to donate Sculptures to enhance the gardens. These will be located under a deep eave & surrounded by an arid garden.
  • The BHAG Volunteer Gardening Group will remove all environmental weeds, propagate many of the plants & assisted by the above organisations spread mulch & plant nearly 3,000 plants from 55 different species. This will create a sustainable bio-diverse ecosystem that will encourage local fauna in an area of the hospital that is devoid of bird & insect life.

Due to the proximity to the hospital buildings all the plants will be Fire resistant/retardant & drought tolerant.  Ground Covers & prostrate compact plants have been chosen to create low maintenance & well designed gardens of 10 separate zones.

PWG Site Plan with Zones

PWG Site Plan with Zones

  • Zone 1: A furnished Gazebo & Disable access path; Mosaic decorated Bird Bath; Border plantings of Lomandra. to define the edges & mitigate erosion surrounded by a mulched ‘mosaic’ garden of colourful flowering plants.
  • Zone 2: A small Raised Garden Bed on Gravel Mulch where herbs & seasonal food can be grown surrounded by a beautiful mulched garden with border edge planting of Lomandra.
  • Zone 3: A mulched garden of mass planted Hibiscus continuing the existing plantings, Mona Lavender & Ground Covers.
  • Zone 4: A mulched garden of Ground Cover’s, Bromeliad’s & the location for the Dr George Hewitt Memorial ‘Wollemi Pine’.
  • Zone 5: Gravel mulched ‘Arid’ garden displaying various donated Sculptures.
  • Zone 6: A mulched garden of compact shrubs & ground covers with border edge planting of Lomandra.
  • Zone 7: Gravel mulched garden of Native Pigface around the LPG & Water Tanks & possibly a Frog Pond.
  • Zone 8: A mulched garden of Ground cover’s & Bromeliad’s with border edge planting of Lomandra.
  • Zone 9: A mulched garden of compact flowering plants.
  • Zone 10: Gravel mulched ‘open’ planted garden of succulents.
Grahame Maddeford at work

Grahame Maddeford at work

After 2 postponements our 1st major activity was finally held on a sunny dry day – 17th of February.  The first activity can be viewed on the Gardening Group’s blog  and further progress activities will be posted throughout the year.  Just click on the Patient Wellness Garden  link.  The project will conclude in early December this year.

Plants Propagated by BHAG – Freebies !!

Plants being propagated for the PWG

Plants being propagated for the PWG

Barb Moore has been busy propagating plants by the 100’s in readiness for Autumn and Spring plantings. See more photos on the Gardening Group’s blog.

Plants Purchased from Grant Funds

We have placed an order with Colin Broadfoot (Boggy Creek Natives) for 100 native plants & he is generously donating an additional 140 plants to assist us.

 Follow the BHAG Gardeners Blog to receive PWG updates in the coming months