The Alan & Carolyn Bethune Tranquility Garden
In late 2008, after completion of the Mobility Garden, the Caloundra Rotary Club turned it’s attention to a further project to benefit Caloundra Hospital. Club President and retired civil engineer Alan Bethune coordinated the initial works to a design prepared by local architect and fellow club member Roger Todd.
The idea was to transform the “leftover space” between the new Palliative Care Unit and the existing Inpatient Unit into a tranquil space where patients and their visitors could enjoy a break from the ward environment.
By 2010, a distinctive trellis structure had been built to give the garden it’s own identity and to support the vine which is the food for the caterpillars of the endangered Richmond Birdwing Butterfly. A small paved seating area was created with space to wheel in a hospital bed. This stage was supported with a grant from the Sunshine Coast Council, and furniture was supplied with a grant from the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation.
Work continued in 2011 with the installation of a water feature and rainwater tank funded by a major grant from Council. The water provides focus and an immediate calming effect. The subtle sound effect gives relief from the “hum” of the hospital environment. Like the idea of attracting butterflies to the garden, the water enables fish and waterlillies to provide colour, movement and the promise of new life.
Final works in 2013 included a tiled mural of the Glass House Mountains by Maleny artist Jinty Stockings, and a shade structure over the seating area, again with assistance with a minor grant from Council. The mountains have great significance for Sunshine Coast people and the mural provides added meaning for the garden.
The Rotary Club would like to thank the many trades and suppliers who donated or discounted goods and services for the garden. The water feature was supplied by Urban Ponds at a discount price, Bunnings donated hardware for the final stage, Tony Debrincat from Suncoast Water Gardens donated the waterlillies, Tenkate Landscape Supplies provided discounted material, and Council’s Nursery supplied plants.