Between 27th April – 3rd May, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) raise awareness of gardening and horticulture. In this short article, we look at the benefits of sensory gardens as part of the inclusive design process.
Sensory gardens have been shown to have a number of benefits for people living with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and neurological conditions.
On many of our inclusive design projects, we are often asked to include a sensory garden into the overall design.
Throughout the entire process, we work closely with a specialist gardening design company, the client and their family, to create a sensory garden that can be accessed by the whole family directly from the house. It is vital that we design and include a garden that meets a person’s individual needs and interests.
Sensory gardens use a combination of the landscape, the aromas and colours of flowers and plants and stimulating interactive equipment to stimulate a person’s senses and are particularly beneficial for children living with a disability.
Benefits of a sensory garden.
For people who are living with a decreased or complete loss of some senses, sensory gardens enable access to a number of sensory inputs which can increase sensations. Many gardens include calming scents such as lavender and jasmine as well as calming areas for the whole family to use, which can help reduce depression and aid stress release.
Grass in sensory gardens can be of particular benefit for clients in wheelchairs, as it not only allows access throughout the garden, but (you can’t or will struggle to push a w/chair across grass) can also allow the sensory experience of lying on grass.
Colours, mirrors and ornaments can also be used throughout a sensory garden to create stimulating areas.
Moving around in a sensory garden can be extremely beneficial to promoting and aiding physical activity, which is of particular importance for those living with a disability. A sensory garden can also provide the perfect outdoor space for physiotherapy and other therapy sessions that support a person’s rehabilitation.
Access to sensory garden.
For a sensory garden to be beneficial, it needs to be accessible to the whole family. When designing a home for a client with a sensory garden, both external and internal access need to be considered. These include ramps and level access to and from the house and non-slip paths and walkways throughout the garden.
Paths, seats and beds need to allow for a wheelchair user to move through the garden, and also for children to be able to enjoy the various features.
As with all aspects of good rehabilitation, it involves a coherent, well planned journey – both in the form of the garden design – taking through various senses and in the way the garden evolves over time. Designing and creating a sensory garden is no different, as year on year it evolves into a beautiful and enjoyable experience for all involved.
For more information, contact us on
01484 960560 or email us +
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