# Thursday, 03 May 2007

A lovely memorial of a very special couple

As avid blog readers will know, my beloved grandmother o"h (known to all as Bim) passed away about eight months ago. Despite being blind, she was a tireless worker for many worthy causes, including the Jewish Blind Society in Leeds. One of the projects that was close to her heart was a sensory garden for the blind, where the plants would be chosen for their tactile and fragrant qualities as much as their visual beauty.

Sadly, she did not live to see the realisation of this dream. After she passed on, others took up the challenge, and the garden was officially opened today. In memory of both Bim and my grandfather o"h, the Vivienne And Theo Morgan Sensory Garden is finally open in the new Community Centre in Leeds. We went over for the opening, and thought it would be nice to share some pictures with the world.

The community centre is built around a central courtyard, providing security and privacy for the elderly people who live there. The sensory garden itself is built in raised wooden beds, around three sides of a patio in the courtyard. The beds were designed so that elderly people would be able to touch and smell the flowers without having to bend down.

The official opening began with my mother and aunt unveiling the plaque that marks the garden. Unfortunately, they whipped it off so quickly that I didn't manage to catch them at it! You can see the cover just hitting the bench below in the following photograph...

The grand unveiling

The unveiling was accompanied with a couple of short speeches. The first was given by one of the social workers who had known Bim very well. They had formed a firm attachment, which lasted for many years. That was followed by a short speech from my Aunt, which was very touching, especially given that she is not keen on speaking in public.

After that, it was time to try it out. As mentioned above, most of the plants were chosen for their varied textures (including some lovely furry ones), or their aroma, which included some strong smelling herbs and grasses. Giving the two sisters the first honour, they managed to find the smell of these plants peculiarly amusing...

Smelling the plants

As well as appealing to the noses and fingers of blind people, the garden features a beautiful wind chime, which provided a lovely tinkling background to the atmosphere...

The wind chime

Obviously, a garden like this was not only designed to appeal to blind people, so some brightly coloured flowers were included for the rest of us as well. Due to the bright sunshine in his face, Aryeh Yehuda ended up appreciating these flowers with his eyes tightly shut! Aryeh Yehuda was actually supposed to be in school, but had not been feeling well. As we couldn't leave him at home, he ended up coming to Leeds with us.

Bright flowers for the sighted as well

And of course, the obligatory "smile for the camera please" before we left...

Enjoying the sensory garden

Whilst it was sad that she never saw the completion of this project, this garden is a lovely tribute to a wonderful woman. I feel proud that her lifetime's work will be perpetuated and appreciated for a long time to come.

In loving memory of both Bim and Gramps. We'll never forget you.

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