A new summer house and sensory garden for visually impaired veterans has been opened in West Lothian.
Located at the Scottish War Blinded Linburn Centre, the summerhouse is surrounded by tranquil gardens, a wide range of aroma-therapeutic plants and subtle water features to accent the movement of the Lin Burn encouraging relaxation, recreation and exploration of the senses and environment.
Linburn Centre Manager Sheila Mutch said:
“Our members are now able to enjoy this very peaceful and tranquil area along the Lin Burn. We are looking forward to spending time there over the summer months and seeing the garden area mature and develop hopefully attracting some local wildlife.”
The Summer House is dedicated to Alan Turnham who served in the Royal Signals Regiment in Italy and Sicily during World War II. A commemorative plaque has been installed in memory with a special Braille descriptor.
The Turnham family donated funds to support its construction and daughter, Sally Turnham, officially opened the summerhouse at an event with Scottish War Blinded members and staff.
Miss Turnham said:
“The opening of the summerhouse was very nicely done. The staff I liaised with at Scottish War Blinded completely understood our wish to donate funds towards a specific project. My father loved his garden, spending many happy hours there during the summer months, so a summerhouse seemed a fitting tribute.
“Dad loved living in Scotland and when asked about leaving money to a charity he immediately nominated Scottish War Blinded. He developed a visual impairment latterly and could appreciate living with limited vision.”
Small ‘Gardens for the Blind’, consisting of aroma-therapeutic plants, braille descriptors and tactile features, were first introduced in UK public parks during the Horticultural Therapy Movement in the 1970s.