A Sensory garden is a collection of plants and materials with different textures, shapes, colours, scents and heights.
The collection of plants and materials is laid out in such a way as to stimulate our Senses, Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Touching and Tasting.
I hope this article helps transform a bit of your own garden into a lovely sensory garden experience.
These are the materials and plants you can use to stimulate the five senses in your own sensory garden.
I have given more information about plants and the senses they could develop with their different types of scent, texture, sound, taste, visual effect here plants and the senses they could develop.
Plants which change colour through the seasons are interesting to watch as the leaves and berries grow and change colour.
Most flowers are very colourful during the summer, whilst many trees will blossom in spring before the leaves turn to shades of gold, brown and red in the autumn.
For winter colour check out my article, plants for winter colour
Changes in colour and appearance of materials, natural stone flagstones, walling stones and pebbles used in paving, walls and pathways change colour when they get wet, also add colour.
Shapes are also important in a sensory garden, materials like crazy paving and rough cut flags. The distinctive shape of some trees, flowers such as the daisy and poppy, the varied fruits on fruit trees.
Movement catches the eye too, so maybe add trees such as Willow that wave in the wind.
A fountain or waterfall will add movement and attract birds rustling feathers as they bathe.
There will be plenty of sound to listen to, the natural sounds of wind in the trees, wildlife sounds. A shallow stream flowing over pebbles or a waterfall, even wind chimes.
Scent and smell.
Plant a mix of plants and flowers which give off different scents. Ones you can smell without touching, honeysuckle and roses, some you will need to "get up close to" like daffodils and violets and some you will have to "get up very close to and gently crush them" mint and most herbs come to mind.
Also include plants in your sensory garden that might mean something to you personally, from way back. Composting leaves and grass clippings give off a distinctive smell and the compost can come
in handy too.
Texture is very important in your sensory garden both rough and smooth (mosses, lichens, Holly leaves, rivened stone and smooth pebbles, leaves, slate and the stuff nature will provide like frog
spawn and caterpillars.
Be careful with this one! Only include berries and fruits which you are sure are safe to eat.- I was given this tip by a very rich widow I know,. She has added an Orangery and a couple of garages to the house and yes, still has her sensory garden.
Children will probably want to play, explore and hide-n-seek.
So it's a good idea to include plants, materials and structures that will encourage play.
Woven willow for fencing or cover over a seat, looks, sounds and feels good.
Air can generate soothing sounds as it blows through trees, bamboo, grass and fences. Don't forget wind chimes and the different sounds different materials make.
Limited space need not be a barrier to creating a Sensory garden. Our senses can be stimulated in a small garden, patio, container even a pathway.
I hope I have shown on this and my other related pages how easy it is to set aside, even a small area of your gardens. To create a sensory experience for grown-ups and kids too.
A garden can present the perfect opportunity for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and special needs to learn, play and strengthen body and mind.