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College of Design, Construction & Planning Shands,
Shnd Vi, Sno G e Behavioral Health
Shands Vista Sensory Garden 2011 B
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Table of Contents:
Goals and Objectives
Materials and Furniture
Sections and Details
Work Cited and References
Shands Vista Sensory Garden
Sensory Garden for rehabilitation and recovery patients residing at Shands
Vista Health Care Center, a psychiatric hospital for behavioral health conditions.
Shands Vista is a major inpatient psychiatry and substance abuse treatment
SThe proposed Sensory Garden will be used by patients, faculty and visitors to
the health care center. Patients include those with physical impairments and
special needs, as well as psychological and behavioral disorders.
Key aspects of the proposed Sensory Garden include rehabilitative therapy
which will include activities such as building dexterity and motor coordination,
ambulatory skill-building, horticultural therapy, sensory stimulation and
outdoor recreation. The elements of garden design incorporated should be
handicap accessible, incorporate sensory elements to enhance the patients
experience on a cognitive level and provide a therapeutic environment for
Shands Vista Health Care Center is located at 4101 N.W.
89th Blvd., Gainesville, Florida. 89th Blvd intersects 39th
Avenue approximately 1/2 mile east of 1-75. The Center sits
on a picturesque 18-acre campus that abuts a large
wooded area to the south and east. Primary adjacent land
uses includes a Publix grocery store and commercial plaza
to the west and Hospice Haven to the north.
Proposed Boundary for Sensory Garden
S' I The site has a moderate slope ranging from 151'
Sat the High Point to a Low Point of 138.5'. The
S- proposed area for the Sensory Garden has a
Slope of 4% draining from the north end of the
4 garden to the south.
\\/\ k www.topomaps.usgs
155' Hawthorne Formation: this formation is through-
out much of the central part and all of the north-
150' ern and northeastern parts of Alachua County.
This formation is composed of sand, clay and
14 limestone. It accumulated under shallow marine
conditions and is middle Miocene in age. In
140' some areas, the top of the main body of the for-
00 40 nation is a concentration of pebbles gravel, and
-grains of phosphate embedded in various combi-
145 1\ nations of clay, sand and carbonate (14). Overly-
ing this formation in the eastern and central parts
of the county is a mantle of Plio-Pleistocene
e sand, silt, and clay.
o Bollard Light
$ Primary Site Entrance
| Secondary Site Access
Existing Pavered Hardscape
* Cycad sp.
* Lagerstroemia indica
~( Koelreteria paniculata
( Quercus nigra
-4 Liriope muscari
;s, Illicium floridanum
* 3' High Water Valve
Backflow Prevention Device
0 Manhole Cover
3 Concrete Table with Chairs
* Section of Sidewalk with
Galvenized Steel Safetv Railine
The existing features of the site include a large oak hammock that creates
a quiet shaded area throughout the day. The primary entrance to the
north of the garden features a hardscape area with tables, benches, and
landscaped beds. Leading off of this hardscape is a concrete sidewalk
with safety railing. The second primary entrance to the site is less pro-
nounced but does have bollard lighting illuminating the walkway.
I i 7
Concrete Pathway with Safety Railing
Primary Entrance and Pavered Courtyard i
2 nd Primary Entrance with Bollard Lighting
Shaded Oak Hammok with Benches
Southernmost Building in Proposed
Garden (Low Point)
Existing Features within Proposed Sensory Garden Site Boundary
Photography Inventory of Site
Dirt Road, Eastern Edge
of Proposed Garden
Good Borrowed Landscape (Woods)
D] Keep Shaded Area, Quiet and Calm
-Keep Open Area, Full Sun and Good for
17 Existing and Proposed Circulation
)Keep Existing Trees
Existing Hardscape Area, Good for
> New Construction
Buffer Existing Utilities-
1. The site has a gradual slope that will not require excessive
grading to provide for accessible routes.
2. The existing shaded area created by the oak hammock is
perfect for creating a solitary space.
3. There is adequate space for the installation of sensory
landscape beds to engage users on a cognitive level.
4. A large sunny area on the southeast corner of the site is
adequate for group gatherings and recreational activities.
5. The adjacent wooded areas naturally buffer much of the
noise from the arterial roads to the south and provide the
opportunity for borrowed views.
6. A powerful threshold can be created by the narrow and
abrubt entry into the site from the primary entrance between
the buildings to the west of the garden.
1. Visibility within the site is comprimised by tree and shrub
2. There is a lack of intimate space for patients, family and
faculty to experience solidarity or reflection.
3. Existing site equipment and safety features are inefficient.
4. Existing surfaces and circulation do not promote ambula-
tory skill-building or interaction with nature.
5. There is insufficient lighting and security features through-
out the site.
6. The existing garden has no real sense of boundary or
prominent sense of entry.
7. Existing vegetation does not provide a therapeutic environ-
ment by engaging sensory stimulation.
8. Existing site furniture and amenities lack accessibility and
only provide for moderate rehabilitative functions.
Rooftop Garden located in Chicago, Illinois along with a
Sensory Garden located in Manchester, Connecticut.
Both of these gardens display color, texture, form, and
stimulate the sense of smell.
about Sensory Gardens
Shands Vista Rehabilitation Hospital Sensory Garden is a healing garden which offers and escape
from stress of the institutional environment, designed to meet the rehabilitative needs of the
patients staying at Vista. Healing and Sensory gardens have proven to relieve stress, reduce pain,
anxiety, emotional distress and improve rehabilitation.
Sensory gardens can offer a place for group activities to take place and offer a spot for patients to
have rehabilitative therapy. A sensory and healing garden provide a place for ambulaltion and
wheelchair mobility skills with a physical therapist in the garden. The garden offers several different
surfaces such as: Flagstone walkways, wooden, plank walkways and a deck, concrete and grass.
These different surfaces are therapeutic for ambulatory and wheelchair patients. Therapists may
also hold classes outside for personal reflection and meetings, along with classes on planting,
pulling weeds and watering to build dexterity and educational purposes.
Therapists may use the two different water features for white noise along with the serene
environment as a tool for relaxation and deep breathing techniques to reduce stress.
Patients can work in the garden while also learning about gardening, planting techniques,and
In sensory gardens, plants and other design elements are selected with the
idea to excite the five senses and provide experiences for seeing, hearing,
smelling, touching and tasting. Patients, staff and guests will all have the
pleasure of experiencing the garden and all it has to offer.
Color provides a visual stimulus while adding order and balance to the
garden. Warm colors such as reds, orange and yellow promote activity and
excitement. Cool colors, such as blues, purples, and white, are calming and
promote relaxation. Plants also offer visual texture which add to the sensory
Plants come in many different forms and textures. Movement is always a
good garden feature, this can be accomplished through water features,
planting beds, plants and trees which sway in the breeze, butterflies and
Sculpture and artwork can add visual stimuli to the garden.
Light and shadow are also a means of offering visual contrast by using shade
from tree hammocks and areas of full sun.
Offering sound into a sensory garden awakens the ears and hearing. This can be
achieved by different plantings such as bamboo stems knocking together, grasses
rustling in the wind, palm frond swaying and seed pods like little sound shakers.
Trees are successful with small animals such as squirrels and birds. Birds are great
for songs, and provide a hobby for bird watchers. Bird houses are also a nice touch
for a sensory garden.
Windchimes bring sounds into the garden along with fountains and waterfalls.
Scent is a important aspect of any sensory garden. Smell may trigger long buried
memories and can create a lasting sensory experience. Scent is also a useful tool
for plant identification and a classic method of plant recognition. It can be espe-
cially meaningful for the visually impaired. I incorporated fragrance from citrus,
herbs, vegetables, swafts of lavender and delightful confederate jasmine. Many of
the herb leaves may be crushed and smelled for their unique fragrance, which will
excite the taste buds along with the nose. These fragrant plants are relaxing and
therapeutic for the patients and staff at Shands Vista.
Taste plays an important role in a sensory garden, many plants can be used for
educational purposes, agriculture and nutrition. Tastebuds will rejoice with
happiness from edible plants and herbs. Some tasteful plants are herbs such as
mint, fennel or berries. I included three orange trees for everyone to enjoy, along
with raised planting beds to be used to for vegetables and herbs throughout
different times of the year.
Many plants offer a tactile experience such as fuzzy leaves, rough bark, succulent
leaves and spikes or even sappy, sticky fruit. In a sensory garden patients should be
encouraged to touch different plants and flowers. I added century plants, bamboo
and lambs ear to bring texture along with the sensation of touch. Rock formations
offer a place to sit while experiencing the natural, therapeutic qualities of the tactile
sensory garden. Open green lawn spaces are good for recreation and add to the
touch sensation. I incorporated some sod top tables for patients with
disabilities to experience the natural, touch of grass and two different water
features so patients may get their hands wet.
Camellia japonica Hibicus syriacus '4phrodite'
- ii I
'lla damascene Deschamosia caesoitosa
Ideal Plants for Sensory Garden: Color and Textue I
[ 7 7 ^ ,.' B
Gardenia jasminoides Lonicera periclymenum Lavandula angustifolia
M I M .. X .i -I
Sempervivum tecto rum Alilumfistulosum
Lycopersicon esculentum Foeniculum vulgare
Ideal Plants for Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch
Designing for Accessibility:
Accessibility is intended to help people with disabilities
and focuses on designing spaces that users can get
around in with ease and comfort. A sidewalk path needs .
a clear minimum width of 36" for wheelchair users but
60" is required for two wheelchair user to comfortably
pass one another. Surface treatment is also an important '
factor, a flush threshold is preferred when changing sur- i.. -slope greater Than 1 in 20
faces. Sloped walkways require special treatment as the requires handrails
incline increases. A slope greater than 1 in 20 requires an accessible roue i a
handrails. Handrail height should be 28" to 38" from the slope in 20 or less is a walk and
floor surface. Additionally, changing direction of travel does not require randrails
on a ramp requires a landing for safer manuevering or
Rail mounting height is
.... measured from floor surface
Shands Vista Sensory Garden
Accessibility Design Guidelines
Concept 1: Rectilinear Hardscape Concept 2: Gentle Curves
N Concepts for Shands Vista Sensory Garden scale: 1:40
Existing Shands Vista Building
Quiet Area .
Shands Vista Sensory Garden is a space for people with special needs to interact with
each other and enjoy the natural environment in a healthy therapeutic way. The
Sensory Garden provides an area for patients, staff and guests to feel comfortable while
using this space for contemplation and self reflection.
Therapist may also use the garden for group meetings and rehabilitation exercise for
patients with disabilities. The site is designed in such a way that it is easy to navigate
throughout the garden by patients with wheelchairs or other physical challenges. The
Sensory Garden explores all of the body senses such as: Touch, Smell, Taste, Sight and
Sound. These planting choices were made to stimulate the senses in a healthy and
therapeutic way. This was accomplished by designated planted areas. Also, the raised
planter beds allow patients to get their hands dirty and gain education of
horticulture, agriculture and nature. Seating is located throughout the garden and I
added special swings for recreation in the sunny lawn space.
S 6 Agave americana
12 Asclepias syriaca
13 Asclepias tuberosa
13 Aster alpinus
8 Bambusa multiplex
17 Briza maxima
32 Buddleia davidii
3 Camellia japonica
S3 Citrus X sinensis
572 Coreopsis gladiata
2 Cornus florida
21 Cortaderia selloana
54 Deschampsia caespitosa
72 Echinacea purpurea
7 Foeniculum vulgare
7 Gardenia jasminoides
Plant Schedule (A)
J 6 1 '':indco
16 Lonicera periclymenum
31 Lavandula angustifolia
S." 34 Monarda didyma
25 Nigella damascena
O 28 Paeonia suffruticosa
S 208 Phlox paniculata
S39 Sempervivum tectorum
*18 Zephirine drouhin
5 Cercis canadensis
S I2 Koelreuteria paniculata
5 Quercus virginiana
Plant Schedule (B)
Covered Pergola for
Gathering and Shade
Garden Beds at Accessible Heights for the
Wheelchair-Bound and the Free-Standing
I .Z. 511 .;. 1 r
Wheelchair Accessible Water Feature
wneelcnair Swing to Promote
Sense of Play and Relaxation
Horticulture Tables to Promote Therapeutic Walking Surfaces of Varying Slope and
Goals and Learning Planting Techniques Material to Promote Ambulation
I Shands Vista Amenities
Proposed materials for the
hardscape of the site will
create a smooth even surface
for users of all mobility levels
yet retain an attractive
appearance for visual interest.
Sod Topped Table
www onyc ree(r Knansapes t I EI
Wheelchair Accessible Table
vwww ouldoor furniture r om
Wood, Built-in, Planter Bench
www.slonyc reeklnscapes cor
Proposed furniture will
provide users with function,
accessibility and intimate
contact with nature. Durable
materials and quality craftstm-
enship is valued when selecti-
ng site furniture and
Hardscape Materials and Outdoor Furniture
Swing measurements: 13.12' long x 10.5'wide;on/off
device measures 3.9'. The Liberty Swing is 10.1' at it's
Area Needed: Minimum 290 sq ft is required to meet
most standards; Width: 9.5' between support posts;
/ Length: 12.47' each side of crossbar 24.93' total.
... --. \Swing Components: Capsule with internal seat, on/off
A device lock, wheel locks, seat belt with seat belt
anchor points and signage. Along with full manual.
US Standard: ASTM Certification
5 Year Warranty with normal usage.
Heavy duty, 12' High swing set with four swings/ two sections.
Schdule 40 pipe cut to specifications for the legs and top rail. Two 3-
legged endframe fittings and one middle frame fitting, color blue. 8
swing hangers, shackles, 8 chains and strap seats.
Sod Top Table
Shands Vista Sensory Garden has
been designed with three grass
topped tables for patients with
disabilities to enjoy and have the
opportunity to touch and feel
real natural grass.
They can lay their head on the
table and become one with
nature for a moment.
Sections and Details
Flagstone Rock Planters
scale 1'= 20'
AutoCad details of raised
planter beds located
throughout the sensory
garden on the concrete
Large Flagstone Bench with Blue Stone Top
scale 1' = 20'
4 1-Blue Stone T
Flagstone --- 2'-0"
Base __ M
AutoCad detail of Flagstone Benches with
4" Wide Stone
/" Stone Top
blue stone top.
scale 1' = 20'
ew of Exercise Steps
5'-" Expansion Joint
15 15'-0 -
AutoCad detail of 6 step
concrete therapeutic design
Plan View of Exercise Steps
Notes: The total length of steps and slab is
11'-0". It follows the line of the
concrete sidewalk with an concrete side slab on
the left side for therapy assistance.
- (3) 6" X 1' Step System
3" Diameter Steel Railing
- 5' Wide Solid Concrete Base
-1' W X 6" H Concrete Step
Existing Shands Vista Building
___ -- : ~ -
NI N scale:1:20 aLLIUll LIlll!
Section A: slices through the
center of the garden.
Section B: is across the
therapeutic steps on the bottom
right side of sensory garden.
Sections A and B
_ ~-1~ ~
www.googleimages.com (pictures of plants)
Integration of Mental Health/Substance Abuse and Primary Care. Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Maxwell, Jeff, Restorative and Landscape Architecture in Healthcare Settings.
Wiggins, Colleen and Jim, Gardening for the Soul, 2009