How many of us have been to visit a sensory garden and if so did we take stock of what these facilities entail. We may have been to one of these outdoor gardens and did not realise that we were passing through one of these and perhaps were not aware that these grounds even exist. They are a relatively new phenonomen and its possible that the benefits of these facilities were not realised until some detailed research and development was carried out into these gardens or outdoor spaces.
It’s really easy to create one of these sensory gardens, but we have got to realise that they require a lot of work, there are a lot of extras required, compared to the standard garden, all of which means that they cost more for the labor and construction. Primarily, these gardens are for people, both adults and children who have special needs, may be suffering from autism or have other life limiting conditions, whereby they would find it difficult to fit into main stream society.
How to create a sensory garden;
In essence, these outdoor gardens are created with special purposes in mind and these would be to enable patients with special needs to go outdoors and get that garden experience that we as able bodied people would perhaps, take for granted on a daily basis. So therefore, to create one of these outdoor recreation and relaxing envoirnments, we would need a lot of planning and preperation. Firstly the location is paramount in that we would not like to construct one of these gardens in an area where there is a lot of daily traffic or commotion close by, as it would defeat the purpose of the exercise. These are located in quite, peaceful, tranquil and serene areas and are largely confined to the grounds of hospitals, hospices, special needs schools, nursing homes, care homes and other rehabiliting facilities.
These sensory gardens are predominantly hard landscaped, have water features, perhaps an aviary and a large selection of strong scented shrubs and flowers. There are usually walkways throughout these gardens, where wheelchairs could easily be manoeuvred throughout. There would be water fountains, streams and perhaps raised beds to accomodate the shrubs and flowers. There may be walls painted in bright colours and also there may have fruit trees and in some cases, specially designed pergolas. So we can see from the above list, there is a lot of detail that goes into making and constructing one of these sensory gardens, so that they are fit for purpose.
How does a sensory garden work;
The principal function of a sensory garden is to stimulate people’s senses and that in turn is so beneficial to those that use this facility. It’s seen as a healing and rehabilition element of their recovery and helps them connect with nature and to be aware of their surroundings. The senses that we are speaking about would be… Sound, Touch, Sight, Taste and Smell. Each and every one of our senses work in different ways and the experts have recognised that if the aforementioned senses could be stimulated or awoken in some small way, it would help those people with their illness or condition and aid with their recouperation and recovery. It’s a little known fact that those people who have limited mobilities and are restricted in some ways have compensatory abilities in other areas of their being, hence the sensory gardens for this purposes.
Sensory gardens for kids;
In this facility, we would not have as much garden detail per say, but perhaps more in the way of toys and maybe a playground envoirnment. Bright coloured walls, lots of toys, sand pits, wind chiming bamboos, swings and other play areas or fun elements would adorn these kids sensory parks or gardens. Health and safety would be a big consideration in the planning and preperation of one of these gardens, for obvious reasons. Naturally these sensory playgrounds would be supervised and the primary function and idea here would be to make this space, an area of fun and enjoyment for those who would be using these facilities.
Sensory gardens for the visually impaired or blind;
Most organisations and health facilities that cater for the blind or those with impaired vision are nowadays incorporating these sensory facilities in their plans and considerations. The idea is similar in nature and design to some of the above described, but with a little more detail to certain elements of the layout and construction. Naturally the walkways would be wider, more space orientated and the aromatic and fragrent selection of the plants and flowers would also be taken into account. Specialist work tools would also be provided if these people wished to participate in some maintenance or gardening exercises. These garden tools would have shorter handles, softer to touch and possibly brighter coloured handles and also different designs to the norm.
Cost of a sensory garden;
The cost of a sensory garden would obviously be a lot more that the standard backgarden would cost, due to all of the extras that are required to bring these facilities up to sensory standard. There are alot of extra materials required, the plants, shrubs and flowers are different to the normal back yard garden and so on. Its really easy to see where and how the cost would mount up considerably. If one was to sit down and list all the materials that go towards making and constructing these sensory gardens and then factor in the labor and other areas like landscaping, planners and designers, its easy to see how good sized outdoor facility would cost upwards of $50,000.
We are now seeing more and more of these sensory gardens as we drive around our communities and they are a fantastic and wonderful experience for the participants and even for ourselves to observe and stroll through. The workmanship and detail that go into the construction of these outdoor spaces is to be admired and acknowledged. I know in my own area when one of these gardens was recently constructed, it was partially built with voluntary contributions from local contractors and hardware stores, which has to be positively admired. I trust once again that this post was informational and informative and that it helped to explain what these facilities are designed for. If you would like to contact us with any queries or questions, please feel free to do so, via the comments section down below or directly through to our email .