Glenwood Masonic Hospital - *UPDATED*

The Glenwood Masonic Hospital is a brand new (2010), purpose built aged-care facility in Masterton. My role in this development was basically to fill in the garden spaces that the architect had created. My favourite spaces are the four private internal courtyards, which many resident's bedrooms and communal living spaces face into. The entire complex has been built as single level, and based around these four courtyards, which means that lovely intimate spaces bring the large building down to a more domestic and homely scale.

Many many hours of planning, and pages of planting plans and plant lists were compiled before any planting could take place. We began planting during final stages of construction, which was interesting, but meant that many of the gardens had settled in for several months before the residents moved in, and there was no last minute rush for us to finish.

During design, it was always in my mind that for many of the residents, this would be their last home, and for many, their last chance to feel the grass, and smell the flowers. Actually that sums up why I felt such a responsibility to make the gardens as beautiful as they could be.

1. Seasonal variation
 By emphasising the seasonal changes with many deciduous trees and shrubs, bulbs and perennials flowers, residents have something new to see every week, much as they would if they were at home. 
3 Magnolia 'Cleopatra' outside the entry corridor - Sept '10

Hellebores - Winter Roses
Callicarpa americana winter berries
2. Gardens for the senses
Tactile and fragrant plants were a priority, particularly in the large planter boxes outside each living room. I used Lamb's ears, thyme, lavender, Marlborough rock daisy, scleranthus (moss-like), parsley, hyacinths, Chilean guava bushes, citrus, standard bay trees, strawberries etc, with some flowering annuals for additional colour. These are at a height to be touched and picked from  a wheelchair.

Lamb's Ears - soft and fluffy
The colour-filled pot in C2
Viburnum burkwoodii - winter fragrance

Michelia trained as standards
 Daphne - nothing beats this winter fragrance

3. Attracting wildlife into the gardens
Specifically attracting birds and butterflies into the garden with plant species such as lavender, flax, kowhai, camellia, and swan plants etc. I also commissioned tall iron poles from Peter Milne (Iron Art) to hang bird feeders off for each courtyard. These can be replenished by the residents to with wild bird seed, as needed.
The iron poles and hanging bird feeder

Sophora Dragons Gold attracts waxeyes

Tui drawn to the nectar -rich flax flowers

4. Themes for each Courtyard
We decided early on that each courtyard should be different from each other, so that residents could experience a new courtyard every day if they wanted. Much like going on holiday!

COURTYARD ONE  features predominantly lime green or dark foliage (eg flaxes, heuchera, maples, ladies mantle etc) with dark red and scarlet flowers (geum, euphorbia, camellias, tulips, chrysanthemum). 
The dark red Acer 'Bloodgood' features in C1.

Clematis paniculata climbing the pergola in C1
Chrysanthemum in C1

Chocolate Cosmos
 COURTYARD TWO is definitely the brightest, with mauves, lavender, white, yellow and orange flowers due out together over spring, summer and autumn. (eg. Penstemon, crysanthemum, geum, helenium, crocrosmia, lavender). There is always some colour in this courtyard.

Foliage contrasts with Yellow Daylily C2

Cistus 'Bennett's White'

Penstemon 'Purple Passion' C2
Dark pink and white flowers of hydrangeas, bergenia, lavender, dietes, and rudbeckia are in COURTYARD THREE, with the dark pinky purple of Loropetalum 'China Pink' being the feature shrub.

Lavenders add fragrance and colour in C3
I love this colour. Tulip in C3.
The main shrub in C3 - Loropetalum China Pink

Ligularia renformis in the foreground - new - 2010
Same garden, 2 years later - November 2012

Ligularia renformis - love this evergreen foliage plant

Paeonies and Iceberg Roses at the entry to Courtyard 3.
Some of these plants were brought from the old Glenwood site.

Iris Siberica - Tomandra Red

Paeonies brought from the old Glenwood site

Echinacea add summer zing

Chilean guava - Mytus ugni -
Fantastic fragrance and edible berries.

Acer colours are fantastic throughout the year - Jan11
COURTYARD FOUR has a NZ native plant theme, with the focus on foliage texture rather than flower colour, although there are still many flowers - just more subtle. (Kaka beak, parahebe, rengarenga lilies etc) . A large kowhai tree is the central feature, and will be stunning in flower, as will the pungas as they grow above head height. This is definitely the most established-looking garden, as many of the trees and flaxes etc have grown so rapidly, and are now creating a more enclosed feeling to the courtyard. 
Courtyard Four (C4) The Native Plant Courtyard
Freshly planted - 2010
Kaka Beak - Clianthus C4

Sophora tetraptera - Kowhai - Oct'10 C4
Rengarenga flowers throughout November. C4
The flaxes and trees have grown so that the courtyard now
has a backdrop of foliage rather than surrounding buildings -
November 2012
The path leading into the courtyard from the seating arbor
Manuka - Leptospermum scoparium hybrid
Hebe 'Wiri Mist'
Mission accomplished!! Tui in Courtyard 4.
Lancewoods and mini toitoi foliage contrasts
The Public Face of the Hospital
The planting on the outside, or 'public' face of the building has been designed to complement and soften the strong modern architecture, as opposed to the 'prettiness' of the internal courtyards.

Viburnum hedge outside suites
Palliative Care garden
Pot plants at the main entrance
A Hornbeam hedge the length of the footpath along Upper Plain Road will eventually grow to create a tall security and privacy screen from the footpath. Whereas the Viburnum 'Anvi' hedge outside the suites from the road entry to the building entrance is designed to create a more cohesive flow between the various screens and mini courtyards, and give a sense of privacy to the residents. At the same time, they can see the activity of the footpath and driveway. They all have their own little garden under their windows, and are encouraged to use their outdoor space.
One seating area alongside the street

The Hornbeam hedge is bulking up at 2 years old

Same seating area alongside the street. 

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'
At the main entry gardens, with so much concrete surfacing around them, I have made foliage the feature - with bronze flaxes, Michelia standards, corokia balls, rengarenga lilies, libertia etc. Tough plants that will handle the difficult conditions. The large pots flanking the entry doors feature replanted Yukkas brought from the old Glenwood site. I will probably have to swap the Cyclamena and Bergenia for succulents as the weather warms up.
Flax at the front door into the hospital

Marlborough Rock Daisy and Corokia

The Viburnum hedge is maturing nicely, helping
soften the expanse of concrete

Griselinea 'Broadway Mint' softening the view
of the staff car park from existing residential units

This car park garden has filled up nicely. The Magnolia
'Cleopatra'  trees put  on a great show each spring.

The front entry in to the building - lots of hard surfaces to soften! 2010
This has been such a great project to work on. In fact, we still maintain the gardens more than 2 years on from the original planting contract ending. This allows me to fine tune planting combinations, and train vines, trim hedges etc, in line with my original design intentions. It is great to look back at the early photos to see just how much the gardens have evolved and grown. My vision is starting to come to fruition!!