The Making Sense Garden

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The Making Sense Garden has a sensory theme and has been designed specifically for people with smell and taste disorders in mind. The garden was created to provide a space for people with disorders such as anosmia or hyposmia, to explore, sit, talk and enjoy a garden in which the other senses – sight, sound and touch – are enhanced and given a platform.

The garden is divided into two levels, with both levels generously planted. Multi-stemmed trees with tactile bark frame two corners of the garden. A curving path with steps leads the visitor down to a sunken area, for sitting while immersed among the planting.

The generously planted herbaceous beds have a loose planting scheme. Plants are allowed to grow into each other and self seed as the garden matures.

A water feature protruding from a wall provides a pleasant splashing sound. The harmonious colour palette varies subtly across the levels and features cool tones with accents of colour.

At a glance:

Who is this garden for? 
A sensory garden intended for those who have smell or taste disorders.
Where is the garden set?  
The garden is imagined to be in a small garden setting or hospital trust​.
Who or what is the design inspiration?
A sensory garden specifically designed for those who have taste or smell disorders, inspired by the work of the Fifth Sense charity.

Key sustainability points

  • Opting for a self-binding gravel path minimises concrete usage and maximises how excess water is managed through the use of a permeable surface.
  • Concrete is minimised – fence posts are driven hard into the ground and compacted earth used to set them in place. The steps are timber framed and not constructed from concrete blockwork.
  • British based nursery partners are all certified as peat free and everything is grown in recyclable pots.

Repurpose & relocation

All key elements of the garden will be relocated across three private projects being undertaken by the designers.

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Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.