The Denbigh House has been reaping the benefits of their patio and garden this summer, harvesting different vegetables that are used in communal meals. The center is a “clubhouse model program for individuals with brain injuries,” says Club House Director Jessica Dupuy. The center is designed to help individuals rehab from brain injuries, and their patio has grown into a unique part of their program and community.
The patio, which is a couple of years old, was installed by Brian Gillespie of Ultimate Hardscapes, who was brought in to improve an existing garden area that was only accessible to some of the members.
“We’ve always had a garden,” says Dupuy. “But it was inaccessible to a lot of our members, which was a huge problem. We have a kitchen work unit whose members cook lunch for everyone. There are a lot of people who have mobility issues, and it was difficult for them to do anything in the garden.”
Gillespie and several other contractors bid on the project, but Gillespie was selected to complete it. “After we met with the people at the Denbigh House, we knew we had to do it,” says Gillespie. “We wanted to do something to help. We took it upon ourselves to design the patio to be completely accessible and customized every aspect to fit their needs.”
The project was completed during the fall and winter to allow the clubhouse members to begin planting in the spring.
“We designed the planter gardens with mobility disabled people in mind. The entire patio is ADA accessible, so all the corners are wide enough for wheelchair users and all the benches are at a height to make them comfortable for everyone,” Gillespie explains.
The crew at Ultimate Hardscapes made it a point to go above and beyond when completing The Denbigh House’s project. “There’s a lot of little details. The seating walls, for example, are Dublin that we turned upside down to create a unique design. We also did a custom band of Dublin all the way around the patio and customized the columns and the soldier border,” he says.
The result is a patio that’s designed to perfectly combine form and function.
“The patio has had a dramatic effect on our members,” says Dupuy. “We have one member who we didn’t know had an interest in gardening. Her wheelchair kept her from accessing the old garden. Now she’s out there every day.”
According to Dupuy, the patio is now the most popular area at The Denbigh House. Residents often go there just to relax and have a peaceful place to hang out. Furthermore, the garden has become so bountiful that The Denbigh House members shared their yield with their neighbors and with the crew at Ultimate Hardscapes.
“The patio has taken the facility to a whole new level. After a brain injury, people have a hard time coming to a facility like this because it’s a totally new way of life. The patio makes people feel more comfortable, and it has really helped some of our members adapt to the transition,” says Dupuy.
To learn more about The Denbigh House or become involved, visit them online.