Planting a sensory garden

In May we were delighted to host a workshop with local gardener and business woman Anna Browne. Forming part of our #KeepWell campaign this event aimed to help people get out into the garden and develop their own sensory gardens. Gardening in general is a great way to switch off and clear your head, and a sensory garden offers people the chance to explore the world around them through all their senses, sight, smell, touch, hearing, and even taste.

We had a wide variety of people present. Most were local but we also had a Scottish participant. Most were interested in creating a sensory garden, or patch in their own garden, or had a brand new garden to work with, but some were interested as they were working with schools or local groups such as Tidy Town groups and hoping to develop a sensory garden.

Anna Browne of BigSkyFlowers

Anna led a a great workshop, with breakout rooms to help people get to know one another and share their own knowledge with each other. She also shared her knowledge about what to plant to stimulate different sense. She strongly encouraged the planting of fruit as many varieties grow very well in Ireland with not a lot of work. Plant a fruit bush or tree once, help it get established and you'll be rewarded with lots of return over the years. From apples and strawberries, to the more unusual such as figs. Why not give it a try yourself?

The conversation also touched on wildflowers and establishing a wildflower meadow. In the end it was recommended that people try no-mow, or low-mow lawns rather than a full on wildflower meadow as it is a lot of work and not so good for beginners.

Grasses - interacting with the wind can create wonderful sounds to enjoy

Westmeath Libraries hopes that those who attended enjoyed the workshop, and we'd like to thank Anna for leading the discussion. You can find Anna Browne of of Big Sky Flowers on Instagram ; Facebook ; and Twitter.

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