Pinecrest celebrated the opening of a new sensory garden with a demonstration by musician Aeron Jones on February 19, in Pinecrest Gardens.
The Sensory Garden features a pondless water fountain, music station, wheelchair accessible planter and sensory stimulating plants. It is a calming, safe environment that can be used to promote learning, build social skills or be used by those who are in need of a healing place. Also, a therapeutic gardening teacher is working to develop an all-inclusive gardening program for future programming.
Horticultural therapy uses plants and gardens with the intention of encouraging individual mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual well-being. The act of gardening increases physical activity and promotes social interactions while reducing stress and alleviating pain. Additionally, community gardening offers an opportunity for participants to strengthen ties with the surrounding community.
Water is a gentle way to stimulate the senses and treat the symptoms of sensory processing disorders. The sound of water trickling down the ribs of the pondless water fountain encourages a sense of tranquility and calmness. In addition to sound, water also offers a therapeutic outlet through touch. The feel provides a smooth and slippery tactile experience.
Sound plays an important role in sensory gardens because it can awaken parts of the brain responsible for sensory processing, memory and also cognitive awareness. Studies show that music therapy improves mental, physical and emotional health, all of which are central to improving people’s lives.