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The Beauty and Benefit of a Sensory Garden
by Gardens Galore
December 17, 2012

What do you want from a garden, a functional space that can be enjoyed by the whole family, including the family pet? Do you want your own tranquil retreat hidden from the hustle and bustle of every-day life? Or perhaps you want a garden that provides you with an experience, a garden that tantalises the senses.

A Sensory Garden does just that – they are designed to provide an individual and combined sensory experience for visitors and probably the most important aspect of a Sensory Garden is that it is accessible to everyone, including those people with physical or mental restrictions.

The main purpose of a Sensory Garden is to provide enjoyment and relief for those who use it and are consequently often seen at retirement and care-home facilities. In fact, Sensory Gardens are also popularly found in nurseries and primary schools as they are thought to enhance brain development and learning.

In order for the space to provide an effective sensory experience great care is taken when choosing features; edible and scented plants can be the main features of a Sensory Garden as they ignite a multitude of senses. Sculptures and textured surfaces are featured to encourage visitors to use their hands to touch and feel, as are water features, which also offer a pleasurable listening experience. The most desirable Sensory Gardens are those that house features that inspire a whole host of senses.

The design and landscaping of a Sensory Garden is a much more personal experience, it requires an in-depth look into the personalities of those who will be using it and it requires a huge amount of creativity and a good understanding of the client. A Sensory Garden was recently finished by a small garden landscaping company for a nursing home in Scotland. The most important element of this Sensory Garden is that it was designed to be enjoyed not only by the residents at the nursing home but also by their family and friends and those working at the property. This Sensory Garden was designed to be a journey through the senses and excite positive memories and experiences. Timber pergolas with climbers added high and softness to the garden, a water feature provided a focal point of calm and tranquillity and a mix of plants and structures added colour and texture. Flowers such as lavender and honeysuckle add a profusion of spring and summer colour and provide scents that can be enjoyed year-round.

Finally, one of the residents requested that Pampas grass is planted in the garden to add even more texture and colour to the sensory wheel. This Sensory Garden is functional, easy to maintain and pleasing to all the senses.

Sensory Gardens can excite, intrigue and relax visitors and can inspire emotions that you wouldn’t expect to feel from a garden. What is your idea of the perfect Sensory Garden and what features would you include?

this is a Care Home Completed Sensory Garden...

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