A sensory garden works on the same basis as a sensory room, only it is outside. The sensory garden, like the sensory room, is specifically and carefully designed to stimulate the senses and let people develop and explore their senses.
Who can benefit from a sensory garden?
Many sensory gardens are open to members of the public and anyone can visit them. However, some are restricted to specific individuals. Sensory gardens can be used by people in good health, as well as those with health conditions, special needs and disabilities. Often, sensory gardens are found at nursing and residential homes, centres that provide care for children with special needs and disabilities, nurseries and schools and hospitals.
What are the benefits of a sensory garden?
A sensory garden is designed to allow people to develop and explore their senses. The garden will enable them to see, smell, touch, hear and maybe even taste, new things and will also provide them with a calming, relaxing space where they can take time out either alone or with friends.
Sensory gardens are not normal gardens; they are designed very carefully with a group or an individual in mind. Often sensory gardens are found in care homes and centres and homes that look after children or adults with special needs or disorders, but they may also be found in public parks and gardens.
What is in the sensory garden?
All gardens are different but the make-up of the garden is designed to give users a sensory experience, so equipment, plants, furniture and features are selected carefully in order to create this experience. You may find the following items in a sensory garden:
- Edible flowers and plants
- Strongly-scented plants
- Textured touch pads and toys for children
- Water features
If the garden is being used by wheelchair users or children, you will probably find that everything is low to the floor or at ground level to allow users to access all the facilities and features on offer in the garden.