Sensory Garden: A Garden That is Accessible for All

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There are many types of gardens out there. Perennial gardens, vegetable gardens, pollinator gardens, the possibilities are endless! But one type of garden is starting to attract more attention: a Sensory Garden.

A Sensory Garden is unique from traditional gardens, as it is designed specifically to stimulate the Five Senses: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Touching and Tasting. It provides visitors with an interactive journey through the senses by having plants and materials of different textures, colors, scents, sounds and heights. For example, there can be one section or station in the Garden designed to stimulate Hearing. To accomplish this, there can be a water feature or plants that generate sound when the wind blows or make noises when you rub the foliage together.

Additionally, Sensory Gardens are often set up to accommodate wheelchair access and other accessibility needs.

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The primary goal of a Sensory Garden is to make nature accessible (and fun!) for everyone, regardless of their abilities. Interacting with nature can improve your mood, cognitive function, and your overall physical health. But not everyone can encounter nature in the same way and Sensory Gardens help to address that.

Studies have shown that Sensory Gardens in particular have therapeutic benefits, especially for children with special needs. Children who have sensory processing disorders, for example, can use a Sensory Garden as a calming and gentle way to explore their senses without feeling overwhelmed by them. Adults suffering from the effects of dementia can also benefit from a Sensory Garden, because it helps elicit positive emotions in a safe environment.

That’s why the Bartlett Arboretum is thrilled to be developing a new Sensory Garden on its property! The plans include a variety of plants and features, including van and wheelchair accessibility parking.

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To raise funds for this special project, the Bartlett will host its “Fall for the Bartlett” Gala on Thursday, October 17 at the Rockrimmon Country Club in Stamford, CT from 6:30 - 9:30 PM. The Bartlett thanks all its sponsors and partners for supporting its efforts to make nature accessible for all.

Tickets for the Gala are still available. Please visit the Bartlett website for details: