THE SENSORY GARDEN STORY
How many places can you think of where someone in a wheelchair can go to enjoy nature without the crowds? The idea for the Granite House Sensory Garden began in the summer of 2015 when we heard about
On With Life, an organization of brain injury rehabilitation specialists in Iowa, and their Glenwood facility for skilled long-term care of youth and adults with severe and permanent brain injury. Founders Tom, Carol and Anna visited their 32-bed facility that fall and immediately felt a kinship with them for their work with this population. Their program, like ours, is built around sensory stimulation, and the highlight of the tour was The OWL’s Nest, an enclosed courtyard sensory garden built by local community volunteers for the use of their clients. People being served at their other rehabilitation campus in Ankeny as well as those in nearby brain injury housing with services also come to enjoy the fragrance, colors, sounds, and textures. The on-site therapists bring residents in for hands-on planting, interactions, and stimulation.
We were so inspired by the garden that we decided to not only turn the two-acre meadow on the Granite House property into a sensory garden for our residents, but also to open it up to the wheelchair community for their enjoyment. Our visitors may come from senior residences, from the Courage Center, from school programs for special education students, or from other disability organizations. With a team of Washington County Master Gardeners on board for design and planting, and our Thrivent Community-Landmark friends hosting a fundraiser, we are on plan to begin this year. It is obvious that our plan will be different than the OWL’s Nest for many reasons—for one, in a courtyard they don’t have deer and rabbits to deal with, and another, our winters are colder than in Iowa. However, with the space we have, we can plant a wildflower meadow, an oak savannah, and have plenty of room for wheelchair pathways and raised beds. It is an opportunity for our community to come together to do something very special for our neighbors who use wheelchairs, and for Granite House to give back to our generous friends and neighbors who have helped us create this special place.
PLEASE JOIN US TO CREATE A FULLY ACCESSIBLE
GARDEN FOR THOSE WHO USE A WHEELCHAIR
GRANITE HOUSE LANDSCAPE PLAN
Designed by the Washington County Master Gardeners
To sponsor a tree or shrub for the Sensory Garden, use our secure PayPal link above, and leave a comment with your purchase to indicate which items you would like to sponsor.
A family-focused long-term care residence
GARDEN ELEMENTS STILL OPEN
5 Norway Spruce, $100 each
6 Eastern White Pine, $100 each
4 Black Hills Spruce, $100 each
2 Columnar Spruce, $150 each
8 Quaking Aspen, $45 each
2 White Flowering Crab Trees, $45 each
6 Moonshadow Euonymous, $45 each
7 Sea of Gold Juniper, $45 each
13 Red Ruby Barberry, $45 each
10 Daub's Frosted Juniper, $45 each
17 Gold Mound Spirea, $45 each
2 Gold Smokebush, $45 each
4 Neon Sedum, $45 each
Native Prairie Mix, $100
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
1) Sponsor a tree, shrub, or seed
See list, below, for what is available and
the link to our garden fund at PayPal
2) Sign up to DIG IN THE DIRT this summer and and fall. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org