How to Create a Sensory Garden
Colour Provides Great Visual Impact
Creating a Garden to Appeal to All Five Senses
Gardens not only provide a frame for a home, they can also be a retreat, a playground and an outdoor room. A well tended garden appeals to the eye, however it can also be appealing to the other four senses. That's when you have a garden which looks, smells, sounds, tastes and feels great. Here are some ideas on making that happen.
To make your garden look good, usually planning is involved. Whether you do this yourself or employ a professional, it is worth the time and trouble. When planning a garden you need to consider:
Style: Lots of different plants and trees or one consistent theme as well as the incorporation of fences, ornaments, pots, murals, bar-b-ques if wanted.
Light: Should the garden be focussed on maximising sun or maximising shade, or both at different times of the year?
Practical issues: Is there a need for drought, heat, cold or flood tolerant plants? How much room is available will influence the choice of trees and plants.
Colour and Form: Will there be a colour theme for the garden? What mixture of different size trees and plants will make a pleasing array?
Blending all of the above should result in a garden that is good to look at.
Adding fragrant trees, shrubs and flowers to a garden can create a scent-sory delight. Some options for trees and shrubs are:
Citrus, Magnolia, Loquat, Flowering Cherry, Flowering Apricot, Flowering Plum, Chinese Witchhazel, Flowering currants, Lilacs, Gardenia, Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius), Crabapple, Mexican orange blossom (Choisya ternata), Frangipani, Eucalyptus Gums, Pine, Fir, Spruce and Cedar trees.
Fragant plants, flowers and herbs include: Jasmine, Daylilies, Gingers, Belladonna, Lavender, Thyme, Mint, Lemon Verbena, Basil, Rosemary, Hyacinth, Daffodils, Bluebells, Roses, Iris, Freesias, Lily of the valley, honeysuckle, wisteria and more.
For extensive lists of fragrant flora see helpfulgardener.com, thefragrantgarden.com and gardenguides.com.
Some people would say that the best sound a garden can have is none - silence! However the natural songs of birds and insects can also be very welcome. Grow plants native to your area to attract this orchestra of nature. If space and budget permits, a water feature can also add a soothing backdrop to any garden.
Fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in your own garden have an abundance of taste. Consider planting a few fruit trees and starting a vegetable patch. Even if you only have a courtyard or a balcony for a garden, you can grow a great deal in pots. Many fruit trees are now available in minature or espaliered form enabling you to make the most of walls and small areas.
Planting and maintaining a garden of whatever size provides a great opportunity to be in touch with the earth. Getting your hands dirty and being able to harvest your own flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs gives you a new appreciation of the textures of freshly picked produce. This is often pretty different from that you buy in the supermarket. Feeling the sun on your face, the wind in your hair and grass beneath your feet is good for you.
So the next time you need to establish or renovate a garden, think about what you can add to make it a sensory delight. This quote really says it well:
The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion