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Sensory Garden

Sensory Garden

Our new Sensory Garden, two months in
Taken 9 August 2023

This is our newest completed project and can be found after the London River Yacht Club, and adjacent to the Raven’s Ait Island ferry and our mural. 

As the name suggests, we have created and planted up a sensory garden, with plants that appeal to the sense of sight, touch, sound, smell and taste (although we don’t want you nibbling on all the plants!)

We started the mural on 27 April 2023 and it was finished on 25 May 2023. You can view progress photos here and here.

We started to prepare the ground for the Sensory Garden on 17 May when we hired the turf cutter for the day, and the garden was initially planted up on 20 May 2023 (see below).

The first plants went in 20 May 2023

The making of the garden

Before we started work
Before pics

With this garden, we wanted to demonstrate how such a garden design can provide people in our community with opportunities to connect with nature for their mental and physical health and general wellbeing. We have therefore focused on plants that stimulate or calm the various senses, and thereby attract wildlife and pollinators which in itself provides additional interest. 

Our plant choice includes some heavily scented specimen but also mixes in colour, patterns, texture and sound. The plants we have used aren’t just pretty; they are also spiky, furry, fluffy, rough and smooth; they swish, rattle, shimmer and shake; they are perfumed, pungent and punchy.

Work begins
  • Shrubs (sarcococca, hebe, roses, cornus)
  • Grasses (calamagrostis, miscanthus, festuca, imperata, stipa)
  • Herbaceous perennials (euphorbia, agastache, achillea, actaea, ceratostigma, eryngium, sedum, nepeta, peony, rudbeckia, salvia, stachys)
  • Herbs (rosemary, fennel, lavender, verbena)

As part of the overall impact, we have also commissioned a mural for the wall as a more pleasing, stimulating and inviting backdrop. 

A wood chip path leads visitors through the garden, and invites you to relax, quietly contemplate and enjoy the view on an upcycled bench, sheltered from the sun during most of the day.

The first planting took place on 20 May 2023

Smell

Scents, oils, fragrance and perfumes transport you to memories, people and experiences.

Sit for a while – what can you smell? What does it remind you of?

Sound

Rustling grasses and leaves all create a sense of calm and relaxation.

Sit for a while – what can you hear?

Touch

We have planted varying textures, stems and foliage, and seed pods and berries.

Gently feel the textures of the plants.

Sight

Colours can change your mood – yellows and reds are energising, whereas blues and greens are relaxing and calming.

Colours also encourage wildlife and biodiversity. What leaf shapes can you spot?  

Taste

Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal and aromatic.

Did you know that some flowers and leaves are edible too?

The new signage

Take a look at our photo gallery: The making of our Sensory Garden.

Visitors enjoying the new garden

Created by volunteers from Queen’s Promenade Friends and sponsored by The Vision Charity and London River Yacht Club.

Richard Morgan from the Vision Charity opening the gardens at Promtastic! June 2023
Garden progress – photo taken 9 August 2023