Floral mural gets Willard Home residents talking

Willard Home volunteer Margie.

Enliven volunteer Margie Tansley has created a vibrant mural on the garden shed at Willard Home to brighten up a dull spot in an otherwise lush garden.

Margie says Willard Home’s community garden provides a focal point and gets residents reminiscing about the gardens they once had and helps engage them with the possibilities for gardening at the home.

“It’s colourful for impact and plants a seed to encourage the residents to spend time with their whānau and friends,” she says.

The garden at Willard Home is extensive and has a variety of vegetables, raised flower beds and fruit trees. Margie says what’s special about the garden is that it includes established native trees such as totara and recently planted kowhai trees.

The garden opened in late 2018, after funding from the Lion Foundation and Mainland Foundation made the initial part of the project possible.

The pink and orange floral design on the new mural – which Margie and her cousin Robine Lawrence designed – also acknowledges the location of Willard Home close to the Tararuas. The flower-filled gap between the hills signifies the mighty Manawatu Gorge.

Margie’s connection with Willard Home spans more than 14 years. She worked as a health care assistant and then a recreation officer before becoming a volunteer.

Margie’s next project at Willard Home will feature sunflowers which will brighten up a wall next to the kitchen. “I like being on the end of a brush,” she says.

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