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Top 5 Ways to Create A Sensory Garden for Spring!

"I want a sensory garden, how do I create one?!" Well this is a fantastic subject for lovers of plants, gardens and open spaces. It could be argued that any garden can be a sensory garden, regardless of the plants within. If you think about our five senses: Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch & Smell, all plants are going to trigger atleast one of more of these. So using these as our top 5 tips, introduce atleast 1-2 elements of each to create a well rounded outdoor experience.

Sensory Gardens are being created throughout the community for a variety of reasons. Child Care Centres, Retirement Facilities, Council Parklands, Community Gardens, Schools & Hospitals are just some of the places where a sensory garden can be of benefit; not to mention your own backyard!

Ok, so lets look at how we can make one in our own outdoor space to enjoy. First, what do you want the garden to achieve? Is the priority bright colours? Do you want lots of fragrances? Is it taste you want - such as herbs in a cottage garden setting?

1: SIGHT This may be the easiest one to start off with, as all plants technically add to the visual effect of a garden! One of the best ways to add impact with sight is to add bright colours... its hard to chose which one to add, as many cover more then one sense. Lavender, Gardenia & Roses have stunningly bright flowers that smell nice too. Or what about Gazania, African Dairy or Chrysanthemum? Try adding some year-round colourful foliage with Cordylines, Crotons & bromeliads. Another element to add is different shapes and sizes. Introduce some large leaf plants like Philodendrons, Heliconias or large tall fronds from a Palm tree to contrast to smaller leaf plants.

2: SMELL There are so any plants to satisfy this sense. Gardenia, Lavender, Rosemary, Jasmine, Roses, Geranium, and Citrus are just a few well-loved varieties to chose from. Adding these near an entry or walkway is a fantastic way to ensure you will enjoy the scents often, especially if it can drift into an open window into your home.

3: TOUCH So, this is an interesting one... Choosing plants we can touch without hurting the plant or ourselves can be a tricky thing. Soft fury plants like Lambs Ears, The W.A. Wooly Bush, Bottlebrush, Curry Bush and Lavender come to mind. Or chunky flowers such as Banksia, or the seed pod of the Poinciana or Leopard Tree. It may even be a ground cover that we can put our bare feed on, like the no-mow grass Zoysia or Pennyroyal. Or even mint! That way you can get a beautiful smell as well as the texture.

4: SOUND can be one of the most fun to add in, the rustling of the plants in the breeze, like Fountain Grass or Palm trees. And anyone who has visited our bamboo forests will have marvelled at the gentle creaking and groaning the bamboo culms make as they sway. Also, how about a natural bamboo wind chime hanging from the tree? Or a water feature to add a gentle trickle of water.

5: TASTE is a very specific sense for a seperate garden chosen carefully. Think of all the lovely herbs and cottage garden plants that are edible like Nasturtium, Viola and Pansy, as well as a lot of veggies of course. Adding some fruit trees can be a fantastic way to incorporate colour, touch and taste into the garden!

With a sensory garden, other elements can be used to compliment the plants such as coloured bark or decorative pebbles, bird baths or other ornaments. Windchimes especially can add a real magical quality to the environment.

So lets get cracking! Your local nursery can help with suggestions and design to create the beautiful garden to open up your senses.

Have any other ideas? We would love to hear how you have created a sensory garden in your own space. Tag us on social media or send some pictures in!

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