Sensory Garden Benefits

Meet Joshua from England

“I’m a professional organic Gardener and designer based in a small village at the foot hills of the South Downs in the south of England.

I’ve had an interest in growing food from a young age exploring my Grandparents’ kitchen garden.  I worked as a gardener from the age of 13 for my father’s lawn mowing business and went on to study horticulture at college which led me to starting my own gardening business at the age of nineteen.

My wife Emma and I started growing vegetables, fruit and herbs seriously when we moved into our forever home in Findon village. We have two young boys Noah and Percy who we want to grow up with an understanding of where food comes from and how to grow it organically.

Our eldest Son Noah has Down Syndrome and sensory processing disorder, the garden has allowed him to explore his senses, taste, touch, sound and sight in a safe environment allowing him to grow in confidence. Seeing the amazing benefits gardening has had for our own son, Emma and I set up a support group for adults and children with Down Syndrome and now run a regular gardening club.

Our home garden is spilt up into a kitchen , herb and ornamental garden, we are on chalk soil so no dig gardening is our preferred method as the top soil level is very low. Soil is the most important so feed the soil, feed the plant and in turn feed yourself.

I’ve been fortunate enough to give talks at Brighton’s seed swap festival Seedy Sunday on the subject of sensory gardening and growing using the no dig method. Brighton’s seedy Sunday is UK’s largest seed festival which has been a brilliant place to meet like minded gardeners as well as getting organic seeds.

This year we are working on a tea garden, growing specific herbs that lend themselves to delicious tea blends with the aim to sell these at local fares and markets.

What I’d like to celebrate most is that gardening is for everyone and anyone and through gardening I spread positive awareness about Down Syndrome. Once you start gardening you never stop. The positivity that comes from being around plants is infectious and never leaves.”