On June 12, 2021, Eagle Scout candidate Chris Norris installed a Sensory Border Garden and completed his Eagle Scout project at the PlayGarden.
The PlayGarden values and strives for hands-on experiences in the garden so children can be fully immersed with the plants and the garden. The first Sensory Border Garden was installed in 2011 and contained rosemary, lavender, santolina and phlomis, and a lovely soft bed of chamomile. However, over the past few years, the plants in the Sensory Garden began to age, and new plants took over the space.
In order to become an Eagle Scout, one has to complete an Eagle Scout Service Project, where one shows leadership in a project that benefits the community. Chris wanted his Eagle Scout project to be meaningful, and to use his experience with his family’s landscaping business, Camden Gardens, to create a project that would be rewarding to himself and the community. Thus, the idea of installing a new Sensory Border Garden was created.
In December 2020, Chris first contacted a long time PlayGarden board member and volunteer, Rick Jones, to see if it would be possible to do his project at the PlayGarden. In late January 2021, Chris met with Liz at the PlayGarden to discuss what he wanted to do for his project.
After the initial meeting with Liz, the PlayGarden’s Garden Designer, Wendy Welch, was contacted. Wendy was asked to create a creative plan so new plants could be planted in the Sensory Border Garden. Some of the plants that got planted include: Grosso Lavender, Golden Oregano, Sun Rose, Roman Chamomile, Bigroot Geranium, and many others.
On June 5th, after Chris’ project was approved by the Eagle Scout committee, the Sensory Border Garden project was started. The installation Sensory Border Garden took place along the PlayGarden’s new wavy walkway and surrounds the new kiosk, and runs 70ft along the length of the vegetable garden. Chris led a team of Eagle Scouts and a few fathers in preparing the space for new plants. Chris’ team removed the existing plant material, laid irrigation, amended the soil, and laid down new walking paths through the garden. The new drip line irrigation which was installed was a gracious contribution from Camden Gardens.
This new space is a wonderful addition to the PlayGarden, and we are so excited to have this project completed and offer our deepest thanks to Chris and his team for all of their hard work. We cannot wait for the space to get used by the children and to see them use all of their senses to explore the different plants, ask questions, and enjoy the space.