Sensory Garden for Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks is a home for people with special needs run by the Orchard Trust in the forest of Dean. We are currently helping them to build a sensory garden. The design was drawn up by ourselves in response to the natural formation of the land that suggested the features of a face, the garden includes plants and features such as two ponds linked by flowing water that both stimulate the senses and benefit wildlife, with plants for smelling in the nose area, plants for stimulating sight in the eyes area etc. The planting is based on forest garden principals, aiming for multi layers, useful plants (edible or medicinal) and low maintenance, whilst being accessible to wheelchair users. There are features such as a giant xylophone and wind chimes for sound and playing, a grass area for lying down and plans for a wheelchair accessible raised bed for digging and playing with soil. Planting plants in soil is said to be good for the soul but Soil itself, being a living organism, is also said to be very therapeutic and has many health benefits so we want to encourage people to get their hands in it and have fun digging around, therefore this bed will be scarcely planted and perhaps left to the imagination of the users.

This garden has been built by many hands, including local crafts people, artists, gardeners, as well as volunteers, staff and service users at Sevenoaks. Everyone has been really enthusiastic about the project and a great help at bringing it together, we have even been getting fantastic help from the local college students.

Take a look at the photographs showing the journey this garden has taken so far…




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