What is a Sensory Garden?
The wiki explanation is as good as any we have come across as it can means lots of different things to different people.
A sensory garden is a self-contained garden area that allows visitors to enjoy a wide variety of sensory experiences. Sensory gardens are designed to provide opportunities to stimulate the senses, both individually and in combination, in ways that users may not usually encounter.
Sensory gardens have a wide range of educational and recreational applications. They can be used in the education of special-needs students, including people with autism. As a form of horticultural therapy, they may be helpful in the care of people with dementia.
Sensory gardens can be designed in such a way as to be accessible and enjoyable for both disabled and non-disabled users. A sensory garden, for example, may contain features accessible to the disabled individual such as: scented and edible plants, sculptures and sculpted handrails, water features designed to make sound and play over the hands, textured touch-pads, magnifying-glass screens, braille and audio induction loop descriptions. Depending on the user group, other provisions may integrate sound and music more centrally to combine the play needs of younger users with their sensory needs.
Many sensory gardens devote themselves to providing experience for multiple senses; those specialising in scent are sometimes called scented gardens, those specialising in music/sound are sound gardens where the equipment doubles up to provides an enhanced opportunity for strategic developmental, learning and educational outcomes.
Sensory Gardens usually have an enhanced infrastructure to permit wheelchair access and meet other accessibility concerns; the design and layout provides a stimulating journey through the senses, heightening awareness, and bringing positive learning experiences
A great example and something we might strive to emulate is the Delta Sensory Garden of Carlow. This wonderful facility is well worth a visit and an essence of the place is captured by their website.
While a lot of enthusiasm exists we currently have neither the funding nor the expertise to deliver this to the village. However some investigations on best practice have taken place and a preliminary proposed location at the back left of the village park.
1st draft plan
If anyone out there can help further progress on this amenity which would surely benefit residents and visitors alike, please contact us or perhaps send an email how you would like to contribute.