Welcome to the world of Sensory Gardens – an interactive space that you can touch, smell, hear and even taste!
My inspiration and vision is to create Sensory Gardens throughout Australia – in residential and commercial settings – for people of all ages to enjoy. These can either be spaces to relax and soothe the soul, or simply to reconnect with nature.
Sensory Gardens – using horticultural therapy or therapeutic gardening – are also popular additions for schools, childcare centres as well as for palliative care, aged care facilities and for people with additional needs like dementia.
It’s why I decided to start my own garden maintenance company – Cooper & Sons Gardens. This was inspired by my son Joseph and our shared love for gardening, which has helped us on our own journey of self healing.
What is a Sensory Garden?
A Sensory Garden is a holistically designed space that uses carefully selected plants and other elements to create an area that appeals to all the senses. Depending on the setting is could be a:
- Therapeutic, relaxing space that helps to relax and soothe
- Educational space that stimulates children and adults
- Space for connecting or reconnecting with nature
- Tool for the care and management of people living with certain conditions or in a palliative care environment – including people living with dementia or autism spectrum disorder
Sensory Gardens: Stimulating the Senses
A Sensory Garden is all about creating a holistic space that stimulates all the 5 senses – sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. By including a diverse range of plants, hardscaping and found objects we can achieve this. Some ideas for your space include:
How do you create a Sensory Garden?
The design of your Sensory Garden is very much influenced by:
- Who will be using this space
- The layout of your space as this will determine what vegetation, plantings and hardscape we install
- The age and ability of the garden’s users as this will influence the design and what elements we install
Sensory Garden: the benefits
A Sensory Garden in your home or premises can have many potential benefits, including providing the right environment for:
- Reducing stress, tension and anxiety
- Raising your overall mood
- Improving general health
- Enhancing immune function
- Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
Spending time outdoors also means you are exposed to sunlight, which boosts your levels of Vitamin D.
Sensory Gardens: Facilities and Commercial Installations
People of all ages and abilities can engage with Sensory Gardens, which is why they are increasingly valued for their therapeutic value. Using horticultural therapy or therapeutic gardening a range of facilities have found these space beneficial for their residents, including:
Aged care facilities
Palliative care facilities
Schools and childcare centres
Prisons and correctional facilities
Substance abuse programs