Let’s Talk Gardening and Sensory Gardens…

“Access to gardens can enhance focus and attention, as well as reducing anxiety and boosting self-confidence. Additionally, the garden can be considered a dynamic environment offering diverse opportunities for learning.” –[‘Green Spaces – Outdoor Environments for Adults with Autism’ by Katie Gaudion and Chris McGinley.]

At Apple House care homes we know that our outdoor spaces are as vital as indoor space for those who reside at our services.  For many years we have actively encouraged residents to take ownership of their garden space, to use it in a way meaningful to them.

At Apple House care home, residents enjoy 100ft of garden and actively shop for plants, tend seasonal blooms, help with garden maintenance and enjoy sitting out with a cuppa to admire the results.  Redcroft and Summerwood care homes also rear and nurture their own hens, with Summerwood residents even designing and building a hen house.  Growing vegetables is the norm here: eating home grown organic veg and free range eggs is tremendously rewarding in itself as well as nutritiously beneficial.  Results-based activities such as these also foster a sense of ownership and achievement.

Sensory gardens incorporate textures, actions and movement, sounds, smells, colour.  At Summerwood care home in Hampshire, our registered manager, John, and residents have created a sensory garden that blends all of the above.  We also offer garden space that is restful and calming, without additional sensory stimulation.

Redcroft care home, in Bournemouth, has a fabulous new activities cabin nestled beside the hen house. Instead of slicing a path through the lawn to reach it, we (residents and staff) will be planting a sensory path including lavenders, herbs such as thyme, rosemary and mint. Imagine the scents released as fingertips brush along the heads of the blooms and leaves as you walk to and from the cabin which again is fragrant with the scent of pine wood.  Texture is as import as scent and so there will be fleshy, course foliage and soft silken leaves and tickly grasses.

While seasons and nature will continually change garden space, it’s important to us that we facilitate enjoyment of what is a wonderful commodity all year round.  The cabin will enable residents to connect with their garden and to feel part of their outdoor space even in the winter.

We are ready for Spring, are you?

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