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Embarking on a Sensory Journey: Designing Gardens
That Captivate Every Sense

January 22, 2024

Styled Garden

In the realm of landscaping, sensory gardens stand as a testament to nature's ability to enchant all five senses. These gardens are more than just visually stunning spaces; they are interactive, inclusive, and a source of tranquility. By engaging sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste, sensory gardens offer a unique way to connect with the environment, promoting mindfulness and a sense of well-being.

Understanding Sensory Gardens Sensory gardens are a harmonious blend of natural beauty and thoughtful design, engaging each sense through a variety of plants, textures, and elements. The aim is to create a space that is not only beautiful but also therapeutic, offering benefits to everyone, especially those with sensory processing challenges.

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Benefits of a Sensory Garden

Accessibility: These gardens are a welcoming space for all, offering rich sensory experiences for individuals with varying abilities.

Mindfulness: Engaging with the elements of a sensory garden encourages a state of present awareness and inner peace.

Stress Relief: The multisensory experience is known to reduce stress and anxiety, providing a serene escape from the everyday hustle.

Planting for the Senses

Sight: Captivate with a tapestry of colors and textures. Choose plants like:

 

Smell: Fragrance is key. Incorporate aromatic plants such as:

  • Lavender

  • Sage

  • Basil

  • Rosemary

  • Honeysuckle

  • Anise Hyssop

  • Hyacinths

  • Catmint

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Sound: Introduce soothing natural sounds with:

  • Northern Sea Oats Grass

  • Switchgrass

  • Balloon Flowers

  • Pipsqueak

  • Eucalyptus

  • Cattails

  • False Indigo

  • Bamboo

  • Poppies

 

Touch: Varying textures add depth. Consider:

  • Moss

  • Creeping Thyme

  • Lamb's Ear

  • Hostas

  • Poppies

  • Crape Myrtle

  • Pussy Willow

  • Fountain Grass

  • Paperbark Maple

  • River Birch

Stone Water Fountain

Taste: Edible plants offer a delicious experience:

  • Chives

  • Nasturtium

  • Lavender

  • Sage

  • Apples

  • Strawberries

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Melons

  • Cucumbers

  • Carrots

Garden

Enhancing the Sensory Experience

Pathways: Craft paths with diverse materials to stimulate touch and sound.

Water Features: Include elements like fountains or bird baths for soothing auditory sensations.

Sculptures and Art: Enhance visual and tactile stimulation with art pieces.

Birdhouses: Attract birds to add a layer of natural sound and movement.

By intertwining these elements, a sensory garden becomes a living, breathing canvas, offering a journey through the senses. Each plant and feature is a piece of a larger puzzle, creating a sanctuary where nature's magic is both seen and felt, making every visit a unique and enriching experience.

~Michele Jaillet

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