THE SECRET SENSORY GARDENAWARD WINNER 2021
Our clients wanted a safe, accessible sensory garden suitable for their daughter “A” who has Cerebral Palsy and severe learning difficulties. However, they still wanted it to be sophisticated and natural, a space that they could still enjoy and entertain in. And so, with the help of designer Dru Allan their Secret Sensory Garden was born.
We had numerous meetings with the client to gain insight on some of the specific requirements that would allow it to become a safe space for “A” and planned the project schedule to ensure that the project would be completed ready for her recuperation from a serious upcoming operation. This project was not only exciting on a professional level but also on a personal level to help bring to life a design which would have such a huge impact on this family's life.
A 200m uphill barrow run is enough to strike a little fear into the hearts of even the most hardened landscaper, especially when the first phase of the project is a considerable amount of excavation!
When we started the project in February 2020 we thought that the challenging barrow run might have been our biggest challenge, but we were soon proved wrong as we were hit with numerous storms….and the first national lockdown of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Even with all of these, we were determined to get the project delivered on time and above standard to ensure that the family and “A” especially, had the safe, stunning garden that they were dreaming of.
HARD & SOFT LANDSCAPING
Once the space was stripped back to a blank canvas we had to create and install drainage for the heavy clay soil before starting to work on the build.
Texture is more important than ever in a sensory garden, which was achieved here not only through planting but through subtle changes in level and material choices. Slate paving surrounded and softened by retaining sleeper beds (all of which we chose to hand mitre to provide an extra level of finishing detail). The straight lines of the beds were echoed by the square shaped fire pit, but softened by the sweeping curve of the lawn and a meandering boardwalk. Sweeping trees and hundreds of plants were brought in to bring a cacophony of colour and scent into the garden. It was more important than ever that everything was installed with the utmost attention to detail to cater to “A”s specific needs and to ensure that she would be able to gain independence in their new outdoor space.
THE SUM OF MANY PARTSFINAL GALLERY
The design for the garden included numerous items for the garden including a sunken trampoline, musical instrument, sweeping shade canopy and water feature along with lots of different areas of interest. We installed paving and play bard for spaces to relax, to play, and to observe and enjoy the garden from many different perspectives. Our clients particularly loved the boardwalk which winds its way to the back of the garden, past the musical instrument and underneath the beautiful Acer’s which provide a beautiful canopy to look back down the garden.
It was a challenging project but also an absolute pleasure to bring such a well thought out and creative design to life, knowing the huge positive impact it was going to have for a family close to our hearts.