Gardening for the Senses at Naomi House | Love The Garden

Gardening for the Senses at Naomi House

Geoff Hodge's picture
By Geoff Hodge, Botanical Expert (BSc, MCIHort)
Naomi House & Jacks Place

Therapy Garden For Newly Refurbished Naomi House Hospice in Hampshire

Numerous studies show that having access to outdoor spaces, gardens and plants provide numerous health benefits, not least their ability to create a sense of tranquility and wellbeing – two aspects of life that many of the children at Naomi House need.

The garden features a large play area, including a purpose-built pirate’s ship “fort”, outdoor games areas, lawn, soft paths and several planters. The latter feature visual, tactile and scented plants and herbs that can stimulate all the senses – touch, sight, smell, sound and taste.

One of the Scented Planters at Naomi House

As many of the children use wheelchairs, raised manger-style planters have been used in the main area of the garden, so they can get very close to and fully appreciate the plants. Circular raised planters have been built near to the building, so those children unable to get outside can still see and appreciate the plants from their rooms.

When Vicky Page, Scotts Miracle-Gro’s Consumer Relations Manager and head of the UK Community Outreach Programme, heard about the desire to have a new garden and planters at the hospice, she was delighted to help and immediately put the wheels in motion to deliver the products needed.

Round Planters at Naomi House Visible From the Rooms

Scotts Miracle-Gro has provided the compost for all the planters, plus controlled-release plant food to eliminate the need for regular feeding and water-retention gel to reduce watering frequency. These are aimed at making the maintenance of the plants and planters less time consuming, and so less stressful for the staff looking after them.

For a bit of fun indoors when being in the garden isn't possible, they supplied ChapelWood Paint Your Own Nest Boxes, which the children have painted. Art therapy is one of many activities that the staff at Naomi House use as part of their holistic care programme.

Painting the Nesting Boxes at Naomi House

This contribution to the great work carried out at Naomi House is part of the ongoing GRO1000 Community Outreach Programme.

Paul Morgan, Head of Fundraising at Naomi House & Jacksplace, said:

“We’re delighted to have received support from Miracle-Gro. Our garden project has been an important part of the transformation of Naomi House following the extensive refurbishment of the building and rooms. The garden is designed to be a space that all of our children and families can use. It’s a place of relaxation, beauty, fun and even a space that can stimulate all the senses through careful use of specially selected plants and flowers. Most importantly, the garden is a place for all those that will use our facilities both today and long into the future.”



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