What is a Sensory Garden?

Louise Trent
February 11, 2013 — 1,017 views  

A sensory garden is a specially designed outside space which allows people of all ages and abilities to experience a fun, tactile environment that will stimulate all their senses. Outdoor sensory spaces have been shown to be particularly rewarding for people with special educational needs and disabilities, for both children and adults alike. There are many uses that sensory gardenscan offer, whether it is to aid learning, encourage exploration, to create a fun and enjoyable play area, or to create a calming effect in the great outdoors.

Sensory gardens are typically designed and constructed for outdoor areas of schools, and health care and therapy centres, although there is great scope for the idea to be extended to the gardens of homes of people that would benefit from the equipment.

There is a wealth of sensory garden equipment to consider when designing your outside space. Here are some examples of equipment you could use and the effect you could create with your exciting new garden.

Balance and Coordination

Balance and coordination is a skill that can be a difficult and frustrating thing to learn. The benefits that sensory equipment provides is that it encourages the ability learn in a fun and exciting way, with the added benefit of being outside.

Apparatus that can be used for aiding development of balance and coordination, such as wooden balance planks, is cleverly disguised in interesting and fun shapes and designs to ensure there is no feeling of a classroom situation! An added benefit of these types of equipment is that they can also double up as benches for children, which is great for group activities.

Musical and Sound Awareness

There is a great selection of outdoor equipment in a sensory garden that can create stirring sounds and even allow for users to make music outside. For instance, weather-resistant aluminium chimes allow for a range of melodies to be created, and, if arranged well, can even create a surround-sound sensory experience.

Similarily, sound posts are becoming extremely popular in sensory gardents. They allow for a number of sounds to be recorded and played, from a spoken message to calming birdsong. These sounds and noises are played when the post detects movement.

Smell Enhancement

Fragrant flowers and plants are a great way to stimulate the sense of smell. It is also a rewarding activity to plant them and watch them grow.

Visual Effects

Outdoor mirrors are a great way to create exciting visual and lighting effects. Convex mirrors are a particular favourite as they create amusing distorted reflections for hours of fun and interest.

Experia offers an abundance of sensory garden equipment to allow you to create your perfect sensory outdoor space. Visit their website to see your garden opportunities.


Louise Trent