People who are blind or visioned impaired will be able to experience the beauty of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show thanks to students at Bendigo TAFE.
The institution has partnered with Guide Dogs Victoria to develop a sensory garden where the focus is on smell, hearing and touch.
The space features a green wall with herbs like basil, sage and mint, as well as garden beds with lemon verbena, parsley and chamomile.
There are also lemon scented gum trees, olive trees and sunflowers on display.
"The students designed the garden, created it and built it themselves," Director of Food and Fibre at Bendigo TAFE and the Kangan Institute Nicole Broe said.
"The students also decided to put braille around the outside of all of the garden beds so the visually impaired know what they are touching, feeling, and smelling."
Most of the Bendigo TAFE students involved in the project are studying horticulture, although some come from the animal studies, conservation, land management, agriculture, and carpentry fields.
Guide Dogs Victoria event manager Samantha Moffatt said the partnership between Bendigo TAFE and the organisation started last year when students designed guide dog coats for the Melbourne Fashion Festival.
"The partnership really grew from us providing that industry experience for the students," she said.
"In return, the students get a real understanding and education around the importance of accessibility, diversity and inclusion.
"It's adding a whole other level to their education."
Guide Dogs Victoria training team leader Justin Marshall worked with the students during the design process.
He took them through an exercise where they walked around the classroom while blindfolded to gain a better understanding of the limitations a blind or vision impaired person experiences.
"They were a little bit hesitant at first," Mr Marshall said. "But when they went back to their desks they were pumped and had all these ideas flowing.
"You could really see their excitement."
The major focus of the students was to make the garden accessible and enjoyable for people of all abilities.
"We wanted to make it so it doesn't matter if you're old, young, in a wheelchair or need a carer, you will be able to get up close to the garden," Mr Marshall said.
The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show finishes on Sunday, so the sensory garden will be transported back to Bendigo early next week.
It will then be on display in Rosalind Park for the next four weeks.
"It's a smaller version of what we've got down here but it will still very much have that sensory element," Ms Broe said.
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