Gardening for the senses at Naomi House

Gardening for the senses at Naomi House

Following a major refurbishment, the children and their families at Naomi House hospice in Hampshire now have a new garden

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 well-being – 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.

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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.

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.

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Paul Morgan, Head of Fundraising at Naomi House & Jacksplace, said: “We’re delighted to have received support from Scotts. 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 in to the future.”

For more information on Naomi House & Jacksplace, visit www.naomihouse.org.uk

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Steve Ott

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