HISTORY OF THE SENSORY GARDEN IN THE OLD BOAT PARK, SIDMOUTH
The Sensory Garden has been created in what was known as 'The Old Boat Park' which had once been in private ownership and gifted in trust to the Sidmouth Town Council.Sid
Older town residents remember it as a place with a pool to paddle and sail children's model yachts.
Then, with the advent of the Daily Mirror 'Mirror' sailing dinghy competitions, the area was used as a park for the Sidmouth fleet and the pool removed. Latterly the area was redeveloped with raised brick beds as seen today and planted out with mainly shrubs, phormiums and pampas grasses. Eventually the area became disused, and the shrubbery overgrown.
The stone building standing on the site was originally part of the Sidmouth drainage system, but following modernisation, the building became a Water Utilities storage area.
Sidmouth in Bloom identified the area as one for improvement and in 2016 was able to apply for the first grant of £500 from the RHS 'Greening Grey Britain' initiative which commenced the redevelopment of the Old Boat Park and Bed 1. Sidmouth Wyevale Garden Centre ran a town competition and Sidmouth in Bloom was voted to win the 'garden-makeover prize' which was put towards developing Beds 2 & 3. In 2017, Sidmouth in Bloom applied for a Tesco 'Bags of Help' award and Tesco customers voted for Sidmouth to be awarded £10 000. This enabled SIB to almost complete the planting of the entire area throughout 2017.
Although seemingly secluded from the town centre, the area is ideal for a "Sensory Garden', to for quiet rest and well-being. The many plants attract insects and now more birds. Improvements are on going, particularly with planting on this exposed site.
Sidmouth in Bloom is a voluntary organisation and its volunteers maintain this site. Any donations would be welcome and a cheque in the name of 'Sidmouth in Bloom' can be sent c/- 26 Coulsdon Rd, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 9JP. Enquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers are always welcome.
Statistics: The garden was redesigned with the help of volunteers, EDDC Streetscene, some private contractors and sponsorships.
All beds had their top 15 cm of soil removed. Many beds were full of onion weed.
24 tons of top soil, 2 tons of grit sand, 1000L of mulch & 6 tons of 'Autumn Gold' shingle were used.
Eight QR codes and information boards were put in position in May 2018.
Wyevale Bed 2
Before and during renovation
Wyevale Bed 3
Before renovation(left) & entrance with Artemisia Bed 4 in background (right)