Frade’s Men's Shed Garden Project 

Frade’s Men's Shed Garden Project 

Posted on: 
6th April 2022

Frade’s Men's Shed Garden Project  

Gardening is one of the few physical activities where every little effort shows immediate returns.  Our new garden project aims to bring an unloved section of land to the rear of the Frade shop at 426 Marton Road back to life.  

With the help of Middlesborough Environmental City and the Thirteen Housing Group, we aim to restore the land into a fully functional, sensory garden.      

What is a sensory garden? 

It is a garden environment that is designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses. This stimulation occurs courtesy of plants and the use of materials that engage one’s senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound.  

These types of gardens are popular with and beneficial to both children and adults, especially those who have sensory processing issues, including autism and other disabilities.  

To get the maximum use from a sensory garden, it is important to take into account for whom the garden is primarily intended. This project will work excellently with our Men’s Shed project.  

Frade has recently received grant funding for the development of these gardens from the National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ scheme, the Jack Brunton Trust, North Star Housing and the Thirteen Housing Group.       

The benefits of sensory gardens. 

The benefits can be considerable. For some people, it is crucial as they engage mostly at a sensory level when cognition is compromised. For others, it is the emotional response to gardens that makes a difference to health and wellbeing, helping us to feel calmer, happier or more alive. 

Creating a sensory garden – an environment that is specifically designed to stimulate all five senses – can help reduce troubling behaviours, reduce depression and stress and provide individuals with dementia a sense of well-being. 

How do we make a sensory garden?  

First and foremost when choosing plants for sensory gardens, it is imperative that you choose plants that will thrive in your garden region.  

Native plants are great because they are used to the environment, are less susceptible to disease, and are generally lower maintenance than other non-native plants. The next stage is to include plants and other things that entice the senses. 

What are the five senses?  

  1. Sound – To stimulate hearing, choose plant flora that make noise when the wind passes through them. We will include plants that encourage wildlife in the garden. The buzzing of a bee, the chirping of a cricket, or the whizzing of a hummingbird all stimulates the sense of hearing.  
  1. Touch – There is no shortage of plants that offer interesting textures, perfect for encouraging the sense of touch. From the baby-soft feel of a lamb’s ear to the irresistible sensation of cool moss through the fingers or the brush of rough seedpods, it is possible to incorporate many different textures into the garden. We will not plant anything that may be dangerous, such as prickly roses.   
  1. Smell – The sense of smell is extremely memorable and aromas easily find their place in our memory banks. Most sensory gardens are full of aromas that entice a wide range of emotions. Highly aromatic plants, such as gardenia, honeysuckle, herbs, and spices, provide ample opportunity for stimulation.  
  1. Sight – Adding visual interest to a sensory garden can be achieved by using plants with varying habits such as those that creep, climb, trail, bush, or stand upright. Incorporating plants with different bloom, leaf, bark, and stem colours provide visual appeal as well.  
  1. Taste – Edible fruits, herbs, and spices planted in a sensory garden allow visitors an opportunity to experience nature’s bounty while enticing their taste buds. Vegetables can also arouse the taste buds.Project Progress.   

The before and after images shows the area in its original, overgrown and abandoned state. On top of clearing the waste, we also needed to deal with any threats of asbestos.    

Middlesborough Environmental City and the Thirteen Housing Group have extensive experience locally in developing waste land into viable and valuable resources for community use, and we are extremely grateful for their assistance.   

Projects of this nature provide great opportunities for new friendships to develop and with this grant funding we can invite new participants to come along and join our workshops, so there’s no need to have green fingers. We will teach interested participants to learn more about the plants in our sensory garden.  

Frade’s Men’s Shed and Community Garden projects are predominantly aimed at men, however everyone is welcome as our primary aim is to offer support to any individual who are retired, unemployed and experiencing incidences of loneliness or social isolation.  

If you are interested in becoming involved in our Men’s Shed or Community Garden projects please contact 01642 708791 for more information.  

To learn more read Gardening Know How: Creating A Sensory Garden – Ideas And Plants For Sensory Gardens - 



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