Sensory Gardens and Autism

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode, where in recognition of World Autism Acceptance Week, I’m speaking about Sensory Gardens, with a focus on design for people with autism. I have three guests; Camellia Taylor who’s designed The Natural Affinity Garden, which will be at the Chelsea Flower Show in May, after which time it will be relocated to Kent, to the charity Aspens where it will be used by residents of and visitors to the site. Next, I speak with Meraud Davis who’s overseeing the project at Aspens and finally, to Alexis Selby a foraging obsessed, nature-loving, all-round amazing person who’s giving us her take on using outdoor spaces with her son, Jared.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Narcissus Root Fly

What We Talk About

Why do we need to distinguish between men and women when it comes to environmentalism? 

Isn’t it fair to say some women are interested in improving and caring for their environment and some aren’t, and this is the case too with men?

The feminisation of responsibility as it relates to climate change

Why women are more affected by climate change than men

Women and the control of the means of polluting production

Why women lack the opportunity to generate a larger climate footprint

Women who are making a difference

About The Natural Affinity Garden

Aspens will partner with garden designer Camellia Taylor to create a show garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (23 – 27 May 2023), supported by Project Giving Back. Aspens is a social care charity that provides high quality care and support to people on the autism spectrum and with learning disabilities, and their families in the South-East.

The Natural Affinity Garden for Aspens, is one of six All About Plants gardens being supported by Project Giving Back in 2023. It will encourage a connection with nature and maximise the benefits to a visitor’s wellbeing by engaging with the seven senses (touch, taste, scent, sight, sound, movement and temperature).

Each planting zone of the design targets specific senses and every aspect of the planting has been included for sensory stimulation. The dominant use of green in the garden provides an overall feeling of calm for those with hyper-sensitivity (sensory avoidant) and subtle additions of purple and yellow provide stimulation and interaction for those with hypo-sensitivity (sensory seeking).

After the show, the garden will be relocated to the heart of Aspens’ Kent site, where it will provide a rich, therapeutic haven for the charity’s community. The Natural Affinity Garden for Aspens’ designer Camellia Taylor has a background in psychology and health care and has worked on previous projects with Aspens. She has a strong connection with the charity’s core values of empowerment, inclusivity and integrity and is passionate about supporting their vision for an inclusive society where people with disabilities can thrive.


World Autism Awareness Week – The National Autistic Society

Social Stories

Autism Training 

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Making Gardening Accessible with Mark Lane

Gardening for Your Senses

Episode 174: Gardening for Your Senses

Patreon Membership

Transcript content.

Share this Podcast!

Related Podcasts