A window cut in the hedge gives an enticing glimpse
into the interior of the garden allowing visitors to create a mental
map before actually entering the garden. d
- A circular "window" in the hedge surrounding the garden offers
an enticing glimpse, inviting all to enter.
- The garden is small enough for almost all visitors to experience the
key elements during a single visit, not requiring visitors to travel great
The entrance gate, with its visual and tactile elements,
offers an engaging experience for all visitors and mirrors the inner
atmosphere when the Sensory Garden is closed. d
- Starting at the entrance gate, which displays tactile images of children,
a dog, trees, and birds, all visitors are invited to view and touch the
Information and Wayfinding
Relief tiles on the entrance wall and Braille labels
on the backside of a conventional-appearing handrail provide identifying
information on the plants found in the garden. d
- The entrance wall incorporates decorative, tactile tiles, representing
plants found within the garden. The top of the relief tiles is at approximately
60 inches to allow someone with low vision to get close enough to examine
and also to touch. A person seated in a wheelchair assuming a side or parallel
approach to the wall could reach the lower section of the tile relief.
- Braille labels identifying the plants are placed on the backside of the
handrail along the entrance wall. A second, lower handrail is available
for visitors who may be of shorter stature.
The garden layout, readable by all visitors, is
presented both tactilely and visually in the same informational board.
Featured is standard print, Braille, a tactile map and push-button audio
- The orientation board at the entrance provides information in Braille
with text, a tactile map and push-button audio system. All text and map
lines are presented so they contrast significantly with the background.
The pedestal is recessed and the information board angled, from higher in
the back to lower in front, so people in wheelchairs and scooters may approach,
get close, and examine the information simultaneously with standing visitors.
- The angle at which the Braille labels are placed varies from the more
conventional angle, which requires the reader to bend the wrist, to a less
acute angle making the Braille easier to read.
Multiple wayfinding cues are incorporated to guide
users and aid in orientation. Prominent ornamental pillars indicate
the entrance to this section of the garden. d
- Strategically placed pillars with brightly colored ornaments and checkerboard
patterns indicate pathways and aid in orientation.
- Starting at the entrance and continuing through the entire garden, a
double row of flat, stainless steel bars have been embedded in the walking
surface as a navigational guide. Larger textured areas of the same material
mark locations to hear or read additional commentary.
- Surface material changes along the path identify different sections of
the garden, giving additional navigational cues as the visitor moves from
the entrance and between different sections of the garden.
The bench, with side and center armrests, provides
a gripping surface for a visitor who may need additional support when
sitting and rising. d
- Periodically garden benches are placed in recessed alcoves out of the
direct circulation path to allow visitors to pause and examine the flowers,
lingering as long as desired. The alcoves are sufficiently wide, allowing
a person to remain in his or her wheelchair and position themselves beside
a person seated on the bench. The same space may be used to place a stroller
or a child's wagon out of the circulation path.
- Raised plant beds, with levels ranging from 12 to 32 inches, allow direct
access, minimizing the amount of stooping and bending required of a standing
visitor and allows a seated visitor to get close.
- Flower color is consciously selected and often bold to provide interest
for visitors with low vision.
- At intervals, the top of the walls forming the raised plant beds widens,
creating additional opportunities for sitting. The height is at wheelchair
seat height, allowing someone to make a transfer onto the wall for closer
inspection of the flowers.
The height of the pedestal places the model within
an optimal range to be easily examined by seated people, children and
adults of short stature, as well as tall visitors. d
- Sculptures, set on pedestals, can be explored tactilely and easily by
all visitors, including standing and seated people and people of short stature.
Care has been exercised so sculptures do not constitute protruding objects.
Tactile labels and audio commentary are provided for further identification.
The pond level, elevated above the walking surface,
makes it easy for all visitors to enjoy the multiple, sensory experiences
of contact with water and aquatic plants without having to kneel, bend,
stretch, or stoop. d
- Seating alcoves, with a floor level below the surface of the water, project
into the lake. Direct and intimate contact with water and aquatic plants
living in the water is possible for children and other visitors, seated
- Pathway surfaces have no abrupt changes in level and are carefully laid
so transitions are smooth even though surface materials change. All walking
surface slopes are gradual, making travel easy by visitors with mobility
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