The connection between mental health and the therapeutic benefits of gardening is widely recognised, so when plans were being discussed for the new Community Hospital and the grounds surrounding it, the decision was made to include a sensory garden. An area was chosen close to the building, easily accessible for patients having respite care, their family and friends, or for people with time to spare on their visits to the hospital facilities.

Dr Jane Charles Nash was delegated to co-ordinate the project. She enlisted the experience of Nicholsons Nurseries who supplied a design which kept the project on track while the new building work was going on. Thanks to financial help from Hinton-in the-Hedges, the family of the late Jane Chilton, Brackley Care Home and the very generous donation from Quercus in Brackley of the sleepers required to build two raised beds and with the physical help given by two local stalwarts, Rob Hedges and Phil Wirth, we have done our best to bring that design to life. It is hoped those having to attend the hospital will enjoy something that appeals to one or all of their five senses when they have the opportunity to visit the sensory garden in the years to come. Theo Hayward