Sensory gardens

Gardens as therapeutic space for everyone

Rae Wilkinson

Gardens are  by their nature sensory spaces. The combination of the textures, colours, smells and sounds of nature usually provide this naturally.
We often talk about gardens being healing spaces, and by this we don't mean they provide a cure, simply that they create a notable lift in well-being whilst being used. A key element of a garden intended to create this lift in well-being is to include plants and materials which stimulate the senses.
Rae Wilkinson

While designing some gardens recently for the care environment and dementia care, my main considerations are:

-Tailoring outdoor space to provide welcoming, safe, engaging green space
 - Creating the opportunity to get a breath of fresh air in natural, pleasing and useable surroundings 
- Providing distraction and intrigue through sensory planting, features and surfaces
- Creating a journey through an outside space with places to rest and pause along the way

It is my firm belief that we can all find moments of well being if we are provided with the opportunity to be in nature, even just for a moment.


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