The Children’s Garden of the Senses
The Children’s Garden of the Senses is a Sensory Garden. The Garden is dedicated to the famous Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery and it pays tribute to her writings especially about gardens and landscapes which she describes in a very sensory way.
The Garden is a fun-filled interactive sensory garden for children, as well as for people of all ages and abilities, which allows them to regain contact with nature through the use of the human senses. Sensory experience is achieved through journey and exploration and by providing for both active and passive interactive activities. The Garden is therapeutic, inclusive and diverse, accommodating those with special needs.
Our dedicated programming and activity area for children, used in our Garden Programs, is a play-based-learning environment which focuses on physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. Research has shown that the physical environment, such as a sensory garden where one interacts with nature through sensory experiences, plays an important role in promoting an individual’s health and well-being, such as reducing childhood obesity.
Our Garden features 10 sensory gardens. Each sensory garden has been designed to stimulate one (or two) of the human senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch, through the careful selection of plants and other landscape elements that elicit the desired sensory responses. Explore them here.
A Mini-Botanical Garden
Since the completion of the construction of the Garden in May 2016, over 400 varieties of plants have been planted by our volunteers. Over the past 3 fall seasons, approximately 2,700 bulbs have been planted in the Garden creating a spectacular display of colour in spring and early summer. Bulbs are showcased in each sensory garden and are colour coordinated with the garden’s colour palette.
In a very short time and thanks to the tireless dedication of our volunteers, the Garden is beautiful, providing a diversity of colour, form, visual and tactile texture, scents, sound and taste. We have achieved approximately 80% of the planting based on our planting design. Please consider Donating to achieve our vision of the Garden.
• Specimen plants
• Unusual trees with spring blossoms, summer interest, and fall colour
• Evergreen trees and shrubs including dwarf varieties
• Extensive flowering shrubs of a range of sizes
• Extensive perennials
• Shady woodland plants
• Alpine plants and succulents
• Wide variety of grasses
• Rare irises donated by the Royal Botanical Garden
• Native meadow plants for butterflies
• Native flowering trees and shrubs for hummingbirds and chickadees
• Colourful annuals
• Extensive collection of spring and early summer bulbs: tulips, daffodils, lilies, irises, alliums, crocuses, hyacinths, muscari, snowdrops, Star of Bethlehem, hardy gladiolus, Siberian squill
Our Garden Features
The Garden has many features to be explored and enjoyed and lots of fun landscape elements that have been designed to engage young children.
Features to Explore
• 10 Sensory gardens, including woodland trail, log bridge and waterfall
• Dedicated children’s programming and activity area
• Welcome kiosk
• Old school bell
• World renowned Analemmatic sundial
• Vertical sundial
• Surprise garden decor
• Checkerboard log table and stools
• Horseshoe reading rocks
• Palisade wall with bird houses
• Hopscotch stepping stones
• Log bench for balancing and sitting
• Accessible sand box
• Colourful “Totem” poles
• Children’s planter boxes for gardening programs
• Children’s gardening tools
• Children’s garden shed
• Accessible picnic tables with colourful yellow umbrellas
• Decorative metal and stone benches
• Braille sensory garden signage
• Bronze statue of “Story Girl”
• Lucy Maud Montgomery Stone and Plaque
• Veteran’s Plaque
An Inclusive Garden
Our Braille signage was generously donated by Toronto Pearson Airport Authority. A green coloured bronze plaque at selected gardens depict the sensory quality of that garden. Sensory qualities of scent, sight, sound, or touch are shown on the plaque 3 different ways: word, Braille and playful graphic form such as a nose, eye, ear or hand.
We have designed the Garden to be accessible for people with physical limitations. We have tried to go beyond the statutory requirements for accessibility as we truly wish to create an inclusive Garden that is comfortable for all. We have purposely incorporated vibrant colours, different tactile textures underfoot, and various sounds in the design of the Garden as mechanisms for orienting and way-finding for people with visual and hearing limitations.