A garden created especially for beyondblue by award-winning landscaper Christian Jenkins is now open to visitors at the 2016 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (March 16-20).
The ‘Find your balance’ garden has been designed to remind people of how important it is to keep their wellbeing in check – or ‘in balance’ – through looking after their physical and mental health.
Christian and his team at Landscape Design Group have built the impressive garden in just 10 days, with more than 40 beyondblue volunteers lending their green thumbs and some hard yakka to the effort.
The garden has claimed a Bronze Medal in the 2016 Show awards, adding to an impressive stash of prizes Christian has picked up over 11 years at the Show, including Most Outstanding Design in 2009.
This is the second time Christian has dedicated a garden to beyondblue. Last year, his Japanese-inspired ‘Wellbeing’ garden picked up a Silver Medal and the coveted People’s Choice Award.
beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC said the organisation is grateful to Christian and his team for offering their gardening talents to promote good mental health and beyondblue’s work.
“This weekend more than 100,000 people are expected to visit the Flower and Garden Show, and many of them will see Christian’s garden and be reminded it’s important to look after your wellbeing, and that support is available through beyondblue if you’re doing it tough,” he said.
“Gardening is one activity that can help improve wellbeing through increased exercise, more social interaction with other gardeners and through the satisfaction people feel as their gardens grow.
“We are thankful to Christian and the Landscape Design Group, along with the beyondblue volunteers, for creating this garden, which will undoubtedly bring many people joy.”
Landscaper Christian Jenkins said he is proud to continue supporting beyondblue through the Garden Show.
“I feel strongly about the work beyondblue does to raise awareness of depression and anxiety, and encourage people to talk to someone if they are having a tough time,” he said.
“Walking around our beyondblue garden last year, I was thrilled to see how many conversations it sparked about mental health. Many people shared their own experience of depression or anxiety with me or noted how gardens help them relieve stress. I hope this garden will prompt similar discussions.
“This garden is focused on balance, which I find vital in maintaining good mental health. The centrepiece of the garden is a beautiful swing chair which hangs over a butterfly-shaped pond, reminiscent of the beyondblue logo. The display also features a vined wall, which creates beautiful controlled shadows, and a large wooden pod that people can walk through.
“I hope people visiting the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show will check out the beyondblue ‘Find your balance’ garden, to think about how balanced they are in their lives.”
The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show will run from Wednesday, March 16 to Sunday, March 20. For more information on the event, visit: www.melbflowershow.com.au.
Trained mental health professionals are available at the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM-12AM AEDT) or email responses.