Our theme for 2021 here at Brooke’s Blooms is #WELOVEYOU. It is our way of acknowledging and thanking the whole community of clients, suppliers, friends and family who support us in what we do. All year we have been looking for opportunities to show our gratitude and give back to share the love.
Which is how it came about that a team of Bloomies recently spent a day out at the RSPCA Animal Care Campus in Wacol, Brisbane. They were working hard to bring some bloomin’ good plants to a great community project.
Happy Paws, Happy Hearts provide animal therapy in a unique way by bringing people and animals together at animal shelters and conservation centres. The people gain valuable skills learning how to care for and handle animals, work in a team and participate in rescue or conservation activities. The program also builds their confidence and independence in a workplace environment. Many of the participants are members of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Veteran Rehabilitation programs or injured workers schemes. The animals get to enjoy quality human interaction as they recover from injury/illness or are prepared for adoption.
In the RSPCA campus in Wacol, a key element of the program is an outdoor sensory walk that participants can wander through with the animals. The walk includes play equipment, water and other engaging features designed to heighten their senses and encourage them to play and explore.
The plants on the walk were in need of a bit of a revamp, and so the Brooke’s Blooms team was keen to jump in and get their hands dirty to help out.
When creating a garden that is going to be explored by domesticated animals like cats and dogs, you do need to be careful about plant selection. Many plants are beneficial to animals in the same way they might be to humans, but there are plants which are toxic to animals if ingested or rubbed against. It is always best to check with your vet or plant specialist if you aren’t sure.
The existing garden beds were cleaned out and replenished with a new load of nourishing soil. We planted hardy natives that could cope with a bit of animal curiosity, plus grasses with attractive scents, rosemary and other plants that would attract and interest the animals (and humans!)
We added mulch and an irrigation system to ensure the plants will thrive and bush out. Our aim was to create the beginnings of an ecosystem that, as it grows, will not only engage the animals and humans, but also attract local birdlife to add extra interest.
The whole team got a real feel-good charge of energy working on the project for Happy Paws, Happy Hearts and the RSPCA team at Wacol. We are all big believers in both animal and garden therapy! All the Bloomies are looking forward to being able to work on more community-based garden spaces, to keep sharing our skills and passion for plants and gardens and to give back where we can. Because #WELOVEYOU!
If you have a community project with a garden element that needs a little loving, please reach out and let’s see if we can help.