Memorial to Susan ready to blossom

posted 2 Sept 2010, 02:48 by South Edinburgh Net Admin   [ updated 2 Sept 2010, 02:51 ]

A sensory garden created specially for the blind has been unveiled in memory of a community activist.

The tranquil area, which has been filled with highly scented and colourful blooms chosen to attract birds, bees and butterflies, was opened recently in Morningside to honour the late Susan Wong, who was herself blind.

Ms Wong, who died in 2008, overcame her own health difficulties to help other local people who were disadvantaged or suffered from poor health.

More than 50 people, plus all four local councillors and MSP Mike Pringle, attended the unveiling of the garden and a plaque celebrating the life of the former Morningside community council head.

The colourful collection of flowers - designed to provide strong scents and interesting textures for the blind and partially sighted - includes lavendar, geranium and lilac.

Morningside community council leader Jean Thompson said: "We owe a lot to Susan after all the work she did for local people. Despite being no stranger to health problems herself, not the least of which was blindness, Susan rose above her own difficulties to devote her life to others. She was deeply committed within the health sector, fighting for the rights of other people. She helped those who couldn't speak out for themselves.

"The garden is designed to continue a bit of her good work. All the flowers have perfumes and textures that can enhance the experience of the blind.

"The blooms selected are also known to attract wildlife, which will add to the calming atmosphere."

Other additions to the garden, which is situated inside Morningside Park, include buddelia - commonly known as the butterfly bush - rosemary, thyme and geraniums. It is hoped that the different plants will attract wildlife including bees, robins, sparrows, ladybirds and caterpillars.

Funded by Edinburgh City Council and Scottish Natural Heritage, the spot has been created over the past six months.

Councillor Mark McInnes, who opened the garden, said: "It is an enormous privilege to be able to play a part in the opening of the Susan Wong Sensory Garden.

"The community in Morningside owes a huge amount to Susan, who worked tirelessly both through her chairmanship of the community council and through her championing of all those who, because of their circumstances, required support. Susan supported all in a selfless and unassuming way."

Popular community worker remembered

Source: Victoria Raimes, Edinburgh Evening News