A sensory garden is an excellent addition to any living space, like the students at Treloar School and College for disabled students get to enjoy. These gardens are hugely beneficial to persons with disabilities, autism or mental health issues. Whether looking to create a garden for a loved one or simply as somewhere you can go to de-stress, a sensory garden will come in handy. Here are some tips on how to create one.
1. Location and Space
Location is the first factor to consider when looking to create a sensory garden. The garden needs to be accessible by all (including those with limited mobility). For this reason, consider investing in the right flooring option or ramps to avoid accidents. Raised wooden planters and beds are also recommended for the garden. Raising these plants makes them easy to reach by those in wheelchairs.
The size of the garden can range from a window box to an open area.
Visual appeal is vital in a sensory garden. Bring in brightly-coloured plants and flowers to the garden – this is important for adults and children with a visual impairment. This will also serve the purpose of an attractive backdrop for the garden.
Sunflowers and hydrangeas produce blooms large and colourful enough. Be creative with these by adding them at the edge of the pathway among other parts of the garden. Ornamental veggies such as the Swiss Chard would come in handy in the garden too. These have large and multicoloured leaves and stems, which can act as visual stimulants as well.
Aromatic plants should also be included in the plan as well. Add plants with distinctive aromas to the garden for the best results. Honeysuckle, lavender, chocolate cosmos are some of the plants you can add to the garden for this purpose. It would also be advisable to add plants with different smells to the garden as well. Just be sure to grow these in separate sections in the garden. Lemon-scented geraniums and the curry plant are an excellent choice.
A sensory garden should cover all the basic senses. Sound is particularly important in the garden, one of the reasons you should bring about features that can add natural sounds to it. A water feature with wildlife and birds will come in handy here. Adding a water feature, and especially a water fountain would help add natural and relaxing sounds to the garden. You could use regular household goods such as plastic bottles, pipes and tubing for soundproofing.
Every herb and plant grown in the sensory garden ought to be safe for consumption. You or someone else might ingest the herbs/leaves knowingly or unknowingly. Only grow edible plants such as orange thyme and Siberian chives in the garden. You could also add pot marigold and nasturtium as well. This will help stimulate your taste buds as well as your sight as well.
The garden ought to be touch-sensitive as well. Some of the ideal plants to stimulate our sense of touch include Mexican Feather, Lamb’s Ear and Rosemary among others. Consider mixing plants with various textures for even better results. A sensory garden should under no circumstances have spiky plants. Visitors should be supervised while in the garden especially if there are thorny plants.