Beautiful garden creates a ‘special place’

By Mike Blake
Waikato Business News


A corner in the Braemar Hospital grounds in Hamilton has been turned into a special garden where patients, visitors and staff can spend quiet time.

Bury yourself in thought, watch the world go by outside, study the garden art or just sit and read a book…this is a spot that has been masterfully crafted.

When Braemar Hospital was first developed on land at the corner of Ohaupo Road and Kahikatea Drive there was the Salvation Army’s Family Home adjacent to the driveway, standing where the garden is now.

Braemar CEO Paul Bennett said this held up the design of entry access in the early days. “We had to settle for a narrow lane as a driveway and it really wasn’t satisfactory”.

“We gave the house to Women’s Refuge and it allowed us to open up access and plan for the garden, which has now been ‘officially’ open for three weeks,” he said.

After designing and creating an inner courtyard at the hospital, Mark Sherson, of Higher Ground Landscapes was first on the list when the call went out for a designer to look at the new opportunity.

“We had no hesitation in giving Mark a call,” Paul said. “He did such a great job with the internal courtyard and feedback has been so positive that when the Family Home was shifted and we could see the opportunity for a garden development, we called him straight away.”

Mark submitted the concept design and according to Paul the finished product has exceeded all expectations. A most peaceful aspect is the centrepiece water feature.

“We have gathered garden art from local gallery InSpirit, owned by Jenny Scowan,” he said.

The garden proudly displays ‘The Braemar Family’… mother, father and child, carved in totara … as is depicted in the hospital logo.

Three native birds on plinths grace one corner of the garden while other areas have been thoughtfully planted out with native flora.

The gate is another masterpiece depicting a tui perched on a koru.

This was created by Bruce Young from Whangarei. It has been painted to blend in with the steel fence which surrounds the garden.