Words and images by Max Thrower
To celebrate the government's 'Year of Green Action', The Sensory Trust has designed a garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, to help children of all abilities connect with nature.
Lily (9), Gabriel (6) and Noah (7) enjoyed the sensory planting
The garden is designed by Director of The Sensory Trust Jane Stoneham and garden designer Helen Rosevear. The pair have known each other for over 20 years and were asked by DEFRA back in February to create a garden that not only celebrated the Year of Green Action but was also accessible to a wide audience.
The sensory dome demonstrates the benefits of a quiet space to reflect in.
Speaking to Candide, Jane said: 'We wanted the garden to be about connecting with the natural world and being friendly to the environment. We also wanted it to be a sensory-rich garden so everything we chose had to hit those marks.'
Helen Rosevear (left) and Jane Stoneham.
Helen continues: 'The garden is in three zones. The first is a domestic garden that can be easily transferred into schools.
The patio is complete with vertical panels filled with scented leaves, flowers and edible. Also an impressive Frizzle Sizzle plant.
'Then we have an intensive activity area, a pollinator patch with plants that are great for pollinators and the senses, and finally a more relaxed native area.'
Speaking at the garden on Monday, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity Lord Gardiner of Kimble said:
'The whole point of a garden like this and the sensory trust is trying to engage with young people who will take responsibility for the natural world after us.
A sensory experience for people of all ages.
'The year of green action must go on forever. Every aspect of this garden is designed to send a message. It isn’t just a gesture, it's about everyone going on a journey to ensure we actually do hand over (to the next generation) a better country and a better planet.'
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Header: Rachel de Thame came to visit the garden on Monday with Gabriel Sohotha, aged six.