I enjoy walking through the arbor just outside the Vale Road parking lot and into the Sensory Garden at Laurelwood Arboretum. The garden in colorful and accessible. How did you come up with this garden idea?
Thank you for your kind remarks. Laurelwood Arboretum works hard to provide opportunities for environmental awareness, community involvement and outreach activities. The Sensory Garden is specifically designed for children and adults who have a visual, emotional or physical impairment. The garden has wide pathways and raised flower beds that encourage the use of all five senses — touch, taste, smell, sight and sound.
One of the planted areas in the Sensory Garden is the “Pollinator Bed.” Look for butterflies, bees and other pollinators feeding on butterfly weed, swamp milkweed, bloodflower (or tropical milkweed) and dill. This would be a great area to visit on Butterfly Day, Sunday, August 5, 2:30 to 5pm.
Some inspiration for our garden came from the Fragrance and Sensory Garden at Colonial Park, Franklin Township, Somerset County Park Commission. Volunteers, Laurelwood staff, Lions Clubs of Wayne and Wayne Township Parks Department developed the “hardscaping” design (raised beds, paths, planting beds, patio area). Our staff and volunteers planted the annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and tropical plants. There is also a fountain in the garden. The garden is re-created every year and is maintained by the horticultural staff and volunteers. There is an interpretive brochure of the Sensory Garden available near the entrance arbor.
We have received funding from the Passaic County Open Space Commission, the Lions Clubs of Wayne and West Milford, Wayne Township, and the Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum. We are grateful for their generous contribution to Laurelwood’s mission to maintain and improve the arboretum’s horticultural inheritance, and to preserve the arboretum as an oasis for the enjoyment of nature.
Thanks again. I hope that you find the Sensory Garden, and all of Laurelwood Arboretum, a horticultural delight.
Elaine Fogerty, Executive Director