A magical makeover at Deer Park

Miniature fairies, wolves, frogs and a tiny Gene Simmons are just some of the unlikely guests recently welcomed by the housemates at one of Scope’s Supported Independent Living residences.

A long and previously untouched area on the side of the house has been renovated into a series of small-scale gardens, bringing fun, colour and a touch of magic to the yard and the rooms that overlook it.

It also serves as a touching memorial for a beloved resident.

Housemates Heather and Ronald, together with House Supervisor Jackie Whitwell, have enjoyed online shopping for miniature fairy houses and animals on the iPad, while fellow roomies Tammie and Veronica took charge of unwrapping the boxes.

“Ronald found all the little animals, we have all sorts of wolves and deer out there mixed up with the little houses, so that was his component that he added,” Jackie said.

“They all helped with opening the boxes, choosing which items we were going to purchase, and, of course, at night-time once all the lights are on – they all love to be out there and see it all.”

But the fairies, deer and wolves have also got a few mini neighbours of their own.

“I was made for gardening, baby”

Heather, a dedicated Kiss enthusiast, carved out her own section of the garden as a tribute to her favourite rock legends.

Miniature figurines of band members, including frontman Gene Simmons, hang from the trees among orange and silver stars.

“Heather made the Kiss garden, she was heavily involved with that,” Jackie said.

“We put a little chair out the side of the house and she takes herself out of the side door and sits there looking at her garden, and she likes to listen to her music while she’s looking at the garden.”

One touching and sentimental detail in the gardens is the hanging mobile necklaces.

The necklaces belonged to Tracey, a much-loved and long-term housemate who recently passed away.

Tracey lived at the residence for upwards of 15 years.

She enjoyed picking out items for the fairy garden and had an affinity for bold and colourful necklaces.

“She was a real joy to have in the house, she liked having her hair done, looking pretty, wearing bright, fancy clothes and she loved necklaces,” Jackie said.

After she passed, Tracey’s family gifted the necklaces to the housemates, who agreed with staff that unstringing the necklaces to create dangly mobiles for the garden would be a nice way to remember their friend.

“They’re really lovely because you can remember this lady wearing them, and Heather will go out and say, ‘Oh, that was Tracey’s’.”

Guided by the housemates’ landscape gardening directions, the staff worked hard to turn the space into an area they can enjoy together.

“It’s really fantastic, it’s something to behold and we’re really proud of it,” Jackie added.

“We have our coffee out there, all the residents go out and have their cuppas out there, it’s a really nice environment.”

Getting started with SIL

To learn more about how Scope can help you or a loved one with Supported Independent Living, contact our Vacancy Coordination Team today.