5 Senses Garden is a community garden and playground within Rhodes Park in Sydney’s inner west, featuring gabion from Permathene. It is a joint initiative between Inner West Neighbour Aid and City of Canada Bay. The garden was created with the intention of being an all-inclusive and environmentally sustainable space that fosters the health and well-being of people in local community of all backgrounds and abilities.
Inner West Neighbour Aid is a support organisation which provides services to help elderly people, people with disabilities, and their carers. Inspired by their clients, the organisation recognised a need for green spaces where older people and people living with physical and intellectual disabilities could be included.
The garden provides many wonderful opportunities including cooking and gardening workshops, activities for not-for-profit organisations, volunteering, and the option for health professionals to use the garden with their clients.
5 Senses Garden got its name from the five different areas of the garden, which stimulate each of the five senses. There is an edible garden, a sensory garden, communal kitchen and workshop area, accessible nature play area, and indigenous food area. Some of these areas feature gabion seating and fencing and are connected by a beautiful path designed by a renowned local indigenous artist. Visitors are welcome to engage in the various activities and workshops the garden has to offer, or simply enjoy the beautiful atmosphere.
The garden also boasts other great features including compost bins, insect hotels, a variety of play equipment for children, two sandpits (with one raised in order to be accessible to people using wheelchairs), and a picnic shelter with a barbeque. There is also the Kokoda Café directly outside the fenced park area.
Their website highlights the garden’s upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and which ingredients the vegetable garden currently has to offer.