Beth shares her love of gardening

Li-Ve Fuller grant supports sustainable garden plans

Posted March 04, 2021

Beth Sweatman has always loved gardening. She was thrilled to receive a Li-Ve Fuller grant to complete a permaculture design course with GoodLife Permaculture at the Mt Nelson Sustainable Living Centre.

What’s permaculture?

It’s a design system based on ecological principles, and a philosophy of caring for the planet and people, and fair sharing.

Course participants completed a permaculture design for a garden. Beth’s design is for the garden at the Li-Ve Tas group home in Kingston where she works.

The home is set on a small suburban block. Working within those limits, Beth designed an accessible sensory garden that would be both a restful haven for the residents, and an inspiring place to spend time.

Beth explains, ‘It’s a busy house, so the garden is a great place to have a quiet moment and some fresh air. As well as being productive, it needs to be low maintenance so that it doesn’t have to be watered and tended every day, and that’s where permaculture ideas and systems really help.

‘The existing garden beds are a good height for housemates Brendan, Laura, Glen and Graeme, who all use wheelchairs. They can see everything as it grows and be involved in maintenance and harvesting. Adding accessible raised beds that have a cavity underneath big enough for a wheelchair to fit under, will mean they can get more hands-on with the garden jobs in future – close enough to smell the foliage and pick produce themselves.

‘In the longer term, I hope the garden will provide year-round edibles and flowers. It would be great to engage residents from other homes, building social contact, friendships and a stronger community.

‘I’m so thankful for the Li-Ve Fulller grant. The course was an amazing chance to develop my interest in gardening and to meet like-minded people. It’s made me feel even more enthusiastic about my role as a disability support worker and the opportunities we have to improve the lives of the people we support, by developing and sharing our own unique skills and passions.

‘I’d definitely encourage others to apply for a Li-Ve Fuller grant. Taking time out to do something that interests you benefits everyone!’

Apply for a Li-Ve Fuller grant now!