Sensory Garden: Definition
A sensory garden can be defined as an outdoor garden environment specially designed to help stimulate a person’s senses. The garden can be built, for example, in a disabled school. A sensory garden uses a combination of colours (in plants), aromas and landscape, to stimulate interactive sensory equipment, which encourages and improves neural development. These gardens are particularly crucial for individuals and patients under your care, and especially those that need to have their senses stimulated. A sensory garden would, therefore, be a great addition to your outdoor space, especially with summer approaching fast. The garden not only provides a safe and fun-filled environment for those in your care but also allows them to explore their senses.
The Benefits of a Sensory Garden
As mentioned earlier, a sensory garden enables individuals with various sensory challenges to explore their senses in a fun and safe setting. Everyone (including those with perfectly healthy senses) can take advantage of the serene and safe environment too. Simply walking into the garden heightens your senses from the sense of touch, smell, and even the ability to differentiate colours.
A Guide to Creating the Ideal Sensory Garden
There is more to creating a sensory garden than simply picking plants and a spot randomly. Proper planning is required to ensure the garden is not only accessible to all (including those with disabilities), but also interactive, and safe. Outlined below are some of the things to have in mind when creating a sensory garden.
1. Think about the users
Everyone (the old, the young, the disabled) should be able to access the garden with ease. For this reason, the landscape and equipment in the garden should be safe and accommodating to ensure everyone enjoys him/herself without any limitations or needing help.
2. Make the sensory garden enjoyable
Make the experience and journey around the garden as appealing as possible by creating winding pathways instead of straight ones. The paths also need to be wide enough to allow those in wheelchairs and other walking aids to navigate with ease.
3. Pick flowers and plants with different but interesting smells, colours, and shapes
Choose your plants carefully to ensure they are not only colourful but also produce varying fragrances. You can mix up the plants and scents produced to make it even more exciting. Of course, you should take care to avoid anything with thorns or any harmful plants.
4. Choose fun and engaging sensory equipment for your garden
This equipment is largely beneficial – especially when it comes to stimulating various senses. You also should ensure the equipment fits in the garden well with no protruding parts.
5. Make the garden appealing to younger generations
One way to do this would be to include sandpits and other items to play with. This will enable them to use their creativity and energy while in the garden.
6. Place stable seating areas around the garden
Many of the people using the garden won’t have the stamina to stay on their feet for too long. Providing a few seats placed strategically around the garden should give those with limited mobility a place to relax.
As mentioned earlier, a sensory garden demands more than just a few plants and tools. That said, it would be advisable to seek the services of a certified professional to help create a garden. All you have to do is tell the contractor what you intend to use, and the purpose of the garden. He/she should be able to replicate whatever is in your mind, in the garden. We also have a team of professionals that can help you create a personalised solution for your needs.