hello all i have a few questions does anybody know how to start a garden for
the blind and how do you idenefy the plants? does anybody live in the united
srates? i really would like to hear frpm u guys!
Most of the posters here are in the United States, but there are
others from around the world..I'm in Scotland.
There are many gardens developed in Britain by and for blind people;
they accentuate the senses of touch sound and scent hence the usual name
is "sensory gardens". One I saw had, at ground level, different textures
of path (smooth paving, sand, woodchips, grass, crunchy gravel, pebbles
and cobbles). Sounds included whispering grasses, phormiums whose leaves
make a louder clacking noise in wind, trickling or gushing water,
windchimes, Japanese deer-scares, birds attracted by feeders. Varied
textures might include silky "lambs ears" (stachys lanata), bamboo,
fennel, rosemary, pine, magnolia leaf, grasses, box topiary..prickly
gorse a possibility..big boulders or sculptures. Those plants need to be
robust enough to survive lots of stroking and squeezing. Scent includes
many herbs, sweetpeas, roses, philadelphus, hyacinth, dianthus etc. You
could also have a sensory section for taste, with herbs to nibble.
Many of the beds were raised to about hand-height, then braille labels
were set along the top edge of the bed for plant identification. The
different textures underfoot can be used to identify different areas,
and you could also have a recorded audio description for visitors.
Searching on "sensory gardens" should find some references.
Visit a local nursery that specializes in plants for your area. Tell
them what you want to do and they will be more than happy to help.
You'll want plants that have interesting textures to feel and a
variety of fragrances to smell. Other than that, I can't imagine that
a garden for the blind would be any different than one for a sighted
Genevieve, volunteer reader at Taping for the Blind
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