Check out Shellharbour's new Sensory Garden at Collins Reserve!

The Collins Reserve Sensory Garden, is the first of its kind in our City. The plant species, big and small, have been chosen by the parks and garden apprentices and the garden designed with everybody in mind.

The goal of the garden is to activate each of our senses and plants have all been selected to incorporate elements to touch, taste, smell, look at and hear. One of the trees will even change colours as the seasons change!

A wooden arbour will invite people to walk through a meandering path within the garden. There will be a large open space in the garden with three raised garden beds made of weathering steel for all to enjoy. Other materials featured within the garden include rough sandstone blocks which contrast against the soft leaves and recycled bricks, laid as pavement in the seating area to add further texture. There will be scents of lavender and rosemary drifting through the air while the crunch of mulch under your feet will stimulate sound.

Whether it be kids passing through on their way home from school or adults wanting to relax and enjoy the nature, there is something for the whole community to enjoy.

A sensory garden is a garden where all components are carefully designed to provide maximum and appropriate sensory stimulation.

These can either be spaces to relax and soothe the soul, or simply to reconnect with nature.

Sensory gardens are an exciting place, for both kids and adults, to connect with nature, as we are invited to touch, smell and taste the plants.

Sensory gardens can be of benefit to everyone and can be a wonderful resource for the whole community.

Scientific evidence has shown that even small amounts of contact with nature contribute to, and improves, the mental and physical wellbeing of individuals from children to elderly.

Benefits include;

Therapeutic, relaxing space that helps reduce stress, tension and anxiety and raises your overall mood

Educational space that stimulates children and adults

Space for connecting or reconnecting with nature

Tool for the care and management of people living with certain conditions or in a palliative care environment – including people living with dementia or autism spectrum disorder

Sensory gardens are a combination of hardscape elements and carefully selected plants that combine to provide colour, smells, textures, sounds and tastes that awaken the senses and relax the mind.

The hardscape elements are as important as the vegetative elements because they become an integral part of the overall experience. For example, paths, walls, seating and signage all allow access, inclusivity and interactivity within the garden.

Council’s talented Parks Team will be designing and delivering the sensory garden. The team’s superior knowledge of each plants unique characteristics will contribute to the sensory experience at Collins reserve.