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Muriel Fisher, North Shore local and one of the country’s most well known and respected experts on New Zealand native plants shows no signs of slowing down – even at age 95.
Muriel, who has called Patrick Ferry House her home for over a year, has been invited by the management team to provide her gardening expertise to a new landscaping project that will provide residents with a completely new outlook on life.
It is part of Patrick Ferry House’s drive to encourage residents to stay active and involved in both its own community and the wider community.
The new landscaped area is due for completion at the end of June and will cover an area of 700 sq.m. The garden will feature over 600 native New Zealand plants, with over 200 donated by the Kaipatiki Trust, with others being donated by Doug Shaw at the Native Fern Nursery and Fern Glen. The long term plan is to create a sustainable feeding ground for native birds that will provide endless enjoyment for The Hospital’s residents.
Muriel said she was incredibly touched by the offer to be involved.
“It came as quite a surprise but a welcome one at that, I haven’t been able to get out to the garden since I suffered my stroke so I’m very much looking forward to providing assistance where I can and sharing my passion for New Zealand plants,” she said.
“I will look out at the garden from my room balcony so it will be wonderful to see it take shape. At the moment there are a lot of quite bland plants so it will be wonderful to have some natives down there to enjoy.”
Khim Ferry, Managing Director at Patrick Ferry House is equally as thrilled to have Mrs Fisher on board saying that the team are very lucky to have her on the planning team.
“Muriel is so well respected in the gardening community; even our landscapist at Evolution Garden Design was very excited to learn she would be working with Muriel. We love to involve our residents in our projects because we know they have years of experience we can learn from, we’ve already learnt so much from Muriel and can’t wait to see how the garden evolves under her watchful eye,” she said.
Khim said Patrick Ferry House is very aware of the positive impact both interior and exterior environments can have on the wellbeing of the elderly.
“We recognise the importance for our residents of being in an environment that is happy and uplifting; we feel that this has an important impact on their wellbeing. The garden will provide a sanctuary for residents where they can look out and see the beautiful New Zealand natives and hear the Tuis and other native birds singing away,” she said.
Muriel says there is nothing more important than ensuring our native plants are preserved, cared for and protected.
“The garden will provide enjoyment for us but it will also provide enjoyment for the next residents that come through Patrick Ferry House,” she said.
During the 1950s and 1960s Muriel and Bill Fisher established a fine collection of over 700 native plants in their garden on the North Shore of Auckland Harbour, now known as Fernglen Native Plant Gardens. Concerned for the future of some rare plants, Muriel Fisher wrote Gardening with New Zealand plants, shrubs and trees to encourage New Zealanders to grow native plants in their gardens. Her book marked a turning point in New Zealanders’ attitudes to using natives.
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For additional information please contact:
09 374 5485
021 582 291
About Patrick Ferry House:
Opened in August 2008, Patrick Ferry House is located on the same site as Highgrove Retirement Village – and along with Terence Kennedy House in Waitakere provides the Auckland region with the largest private care hospital group.
The hospitals have gained a reputation in the market for their excellent standards of care and the excellence of the care hospitals themselves.
Patrick Ferry House gives great comfort to residents as a ‘just in case’ facility – if their spouse needs higher level care, while they reside at walking distance right next door at Highgrove. Visit http://www.highgrove.co.nz for more information.