Within a short walk of Fareham town shopping centre, this award winning garden was opened in 1998 in memory of Princess Diana. Based on the senses of touch, sound, vision, smell and taste, this green oasis in an urban setting is packed with rare, unusual and exotic plants from all over the world. It has become very popular since its opening and is used for a range of events. As you enter through the unusual archway you come into a formal courtyard with its chusan palms and colourful bedding displays.
The central bed is the feature of seasonal display and in the summer is filled with subtropical planting. Paths fork in all directions and lead you to quiet contrasting areas all of which are based on sensory planting. There are hot sunny borders with bulbs, herbs and shrubs from the Mediterranean and South Africa in contrast to the shady, North facing beds with species from China and New Zealand.
South facing, hot borders are full of sun loving and tender plants from the Mediterranean and New Zealand which provide for a dazzling display during the summer months. Plants to look for include Moroccan broom, astelia, melianthus and the huge grass – arundo donax. A botanical feast, you will be amazed by the many unusual and wonderful plants from flourishing Chinese fan palms to pineapple scented Moroccan cytissus and a host of herbs to tantalise the senses.
Providing interest throughout the winter months, the borders have many unusual and beautiful species such as scented witch hazels, mahonias and the fascinating pseudopanax ferox from New Zealand. In the summer there are black bamboos, coloured grasses and Japanese bananas.
The exotic theme can be seen throughout the garden with plants chosen from all over the world, to create a feeling of luxuriance and warmth. There are many palms, bamboos and exotic foliage plants which provide interest all year round.
A new guide, Sensory Garden - a discovery of the senses, has been published to promote the garden. It includes a self guided walk to follow the route of 24 specific plants chosen for their sensory qualities. An audio version is available on request. You can download the sensory garden leaflet (1 MB) showing plants of interest.
There is a management plan (4 MB) for the Sensory Garden of Reflection for 2022-2026.
On foot – The garden is a short walk from the town centre. From Westbury Manor Museum turn left onto West Street. Continue walking until you come to the junction with Osborn Road South and Kings Road. At this junction turn right into Osborn Road South and walk about 200m to reach the entrance of the garden on the left.
By bus – Take a bus to Fareham's central bus station. Once there, go into Hartlands Road, turn right and walk towards Westbury Manor Museum (on right). When joining West Street turn left. Walk until you come to the junction with Osborn Road South and Kings Road. At this junction turn right into Osborn Road South and walk about 200m to reach the entrance of the garden on the left.
By Car – Leave the M27 at junction 11 (Fareham Central). Follow signs to Fareham Town Centre to the Delme roundabout. Take the fourth exit (Wallington Way) and go left at the Wickham Road roundabout onto High Street. You will find the Sensory Garden of Reflection on Osborn Road between Osborn Road South and Trinity Street. If you are using the A27 from Portsmouth, join Delme roundabout and follow instructions above. If you're coming from Southampton on the A27, take the West Street exist off the Fareham Station roundabout, turn left into Trinity Street and veer right into Osborn Road. Map of how to get to the Sensory Garden (985 KB)
The Sensory Garden of Reflection currently holds a Gold medal in the South and South East in Bloom competition. It also holds the prestigious Green Flag award as recognition of its place as one of the best green spaces in England and Wales.
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