Sensory Garden | Cherwell Wellbeing Hub, Oldham

Masterplan-with-LabelsCherwell Wellbeing Hub in Heywood, Lancashire, is a day care centre with a difference. And this makes Paxman Landscapes the perfect choice to bring the garden concept to life. The company have created sensory landscapes and dementia-friendly gardens for other clients and are fully versed in the importance of creating a garden community with purpose and interest and with sensory stimuli at its heart.possabilities logo

The client, PossAbilities, is social enterprise co-owned by staff and the users of its services.  They provide day services for those who need it, supporting families, carers and people in the community.

The sensory landscapes have been designed by Fira Landscape and form the absolute central focal point of the new day care facility development near Oldham.  The landscape has been designed in separate zones. Each has its own purpose and identity. Together the zones form a fantastic sensory area for the delight and enjoyment of the residents. The zones interlink with a central space which can be used as an external classroom, performance area or just to gather and meet.

The garden zones incorporate sensory, wildlife, learning and farm areas as well as accommodating natural play, a potting area and a dining area.

The landscaping began in earnest in April 2016 and has developed over four stages, culminating in its completion and grand opening at the end of June 2016.  The scheme developed from its primary stage of site clearance, to its secondary stage of grass seeding, the creation of pathways and natural surfaces for the growing zones in the Spring. Paving, edging and decking elements were added in May and the planting stage continued into the late Spring. Planting includes shrubs, perennials and hedging, as well as aquatics for the pond and large trees and multi-stemmed trees for all year round sensory interest in flower, leaf, form and texture.

Add in habitat creation for birds, hedgehogs and insects. Then finish with tables, seating, a log cabin and greenhouse. Sprinkle generously with extra storage, planters, containers for water harvesting and composting and… sensory garden recipe complete!

You’ll shortly be able to follow the story’s development in our Sensory Garden Journey video when the gardens are complete and unveiled later this month. In the meantime, here’s a few shots along the way.