When I was a kid, my gran’s garden in St Margaret’s Road was stunning. I remember every detail like it was yesterday, from the huge sycamore tree at the bottom of the garden to the brightly coloured fuschia bush that was always alive with bees, the rockery filled with vibrant yellow hypericum and soft furry stachys leaves, and the strongly scented climbing rose around the door. Twenty five years on, I could still walk you around the garden and tell you where everything was, such was the impact of that sensory experience.
Sensory stimulation needs to be a key factor in the development of our community garden. Taste, touch, visual, smell and sound elements add to the experience, having a profound therapeutic effect on the individual. For disabled children, however, the effect is not only one of relaxation but developmental to their awareness of the world around them. A 2008 study demonstrated how gardens can increase communication and develop team working skills in children with learning disabilities, and can help them to develop positive relationships with adults. The sensory stimulation allows the individual to maintain the focus, which helps to ease anxiety and regulate mood. At the moment, we are sitting with a blank canvas for a community garden that can benefit the lives of so many in Central Ardrossan and the surrounding areas. If you think you could help with the development of the garden, please drop me an email email@example.com