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Urrbrae House
Waite Campus
SA 5064

Telephone: +61 8 8313 7497
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 7110

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Historic Precinct
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Sensory Gardens

The Sensory Garden is one of a series of thematic gardens in the Urrbrae House Historic Precinct Gardens. Its purpose is to create a special garden that stimulates different senses and is designed to incorporate plants with captivating colours, textures, aromas and tastes. Within this garden are exciting artworks and plantings which provide a tranquil, informative, humorous and stimulating recreational space for everyone, particularly those with disabilities.

Like all gardens, this garden continues to evolve. It is a haven for birds, butterflies and for you! The garden is also a recognised conservation site for Butterfly Conservation SA

The garden has been cleverly designed so that within the sensory theme there are other themes.
The colour PURPLE highlights the jacaranda trees
YELLOW amd ORANGE are based around citrus trees
and RED plants attract birds for their song

Experience the kaleidoscope of colours aromas and textures.

Expression through Art

A panel of ceramic tiles made by people with a disability reflect the challenges and achievements in their own lives as well as reference being made to Peter Waite as an important immigrant and pastoralist. Artists Bryan Tingey and Andrew Noble worked with residents of the Julia Farr centre to create this artwork.

The Sensory Garden is enclosed by a stately olive hedge, which lined the original driveway to the coachhouse and screened the kitchen garden. The well to the house still remains.

On certain mornings, the scent of Lemon Myrtle with droplets of dew greets you. Mint thrives with Jasmine, trailing through lattice work in the far end of the garden. A Geranium finds shade under a large fruit tree.

Take time out to see our Thyme
and you won’t forget our Rosemary either.

Be surprised how many different types of Lavender exist! Not even the birds can resist this haven as they tweet and whistle in nearby branches.

You may be fortunate to experience the tranquillity and peace of a passing butterfly in this magic setting.

Given the proximity of the Wine Sensory Laboratory the concept of utilising a selection of plants used on the vocabulary of wine tasting is also explored.

The Sensory Garden was designed by Viesturs Cielens in collaboration with Susan Phillips and principle artist, Berenice Carrington. Berenice enjoys working with a variety of media and has wide experience in working with community groups which was a great asset in establishing this garden. Other artists include, Bryan Tingey and Andrew Noble.

Community involvement was important when the garden was designed and this continues to be important today. Groups such as the Herb Society of South Australia, along with a range of tertiary institutions and support groups have contributed.

The garden was opened in 1998, and is maintained by a group of hardworking and dedicated volunteers.

The Sensory Garden would not have been made possible without the generous support from the following

Sponsors and Supporters
Herb Society of South Australia
SPARK Disability Foundation
Australian Council for the Arts
Arts SA Art for Public Places

A special thanks also to the Julia Farr Centre, the Herb Society SA and the continuing support from the volunteers

Open from dawn until dusk everyday
Only 10 minutes from the city centre
Everyone is welcome

For further information please contact
Dr Jennifer Gardner
Waite Campus
The University of Adelaide
Phone: 08 8313 4705
Email :

The Sensory Garden

I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

Edna St.Vincent Millay
1892 – 1952

Sensory Garden
'Action and Optimisim' by Bryan Tingey, Andrew Noble and participants from the Julia Farr Centre

The Sensory Garden

A private and tranquil setting in which you will feel soothed by the aroma of scented plants.

The Sensory Garden

Be inspired, awaken your senses, explore and discover!