Have you ever thought of creating a garden that will appeal to your senses?   A sensory garden is known for having plants that allow you to explore and stimulate your senses of touch, smell, sight, and sound.  The next time you are in your garden try gently rubbing the leaves of some plants to feel their texture and smell their fragrance. 

Here are some plants that can help to stimulate your senses:

Plants For Touch – Plants in this category have interesting textures.  Touch can mean dry, spiky, hard, slimy, soft, wet, and more.  Some great plants that have interesting touches are:

  • Allium – known for its globe-like blooms which come in a variety of colors
  • Cockscomb Celosia – known for their velvety textured flowers that look like brain tissue to some people.  
  • Chenille – known for their fuzzy red blooms
  • Lamb’s Ear – known for their thick gray or silverly green leaves that have a fur-like fuzzy covering
  • Sedum Angelina – known for their bright yellowish needle-like foliage which turns vibrant orange in the fall in some locations.

Plants For Smell – Look for plants that have scented leaves as well as flowers.  Make sure you incorporate plants that can provide scents in different ways.  There are plants that release a fragrance in the air, while others provide a smell only when you are close to them, and there are others you need to touch or crush to smell them.  Here are some plants that will help make your garden smell wonderful.

  • Daffodils – Many hybrid daffodils do not have a fragrance but there are many varieties that have a pleasing scent. These flowers have many different scents with some smelling musky, vanilla, or spicy.
  • Honeysuckle – These easy-to-grow climbing plants have clusters of tubular flowers in a variety of colors that fill the air with a sweet scent.
  • Hyacinths – The pretty flowers have a glorious sweet-spicy scent that helps promote Spring’s arrival.  The fragrance from the clusters of flowers is loved by gardeners but keeps deer away.
  • Roses – Roses are one of the most popular shrubs for the garden. According to experts, “there is no other plant that has such a wide range of completely difference fragrance types as the rose”.
  • Spearmint – This is one of the plants where you have to crush it in your hand to fully smell it.  There are many other herbs like Basil and other culinary herbs that have wonderful smells.

Plants For Sight – Plants that fall in this grouping are selected for their color, movement, and shape of foliage and flowers.  Plants to try in this category include:

  • Bleeding Heart – These flowers are known as the natural hearts of nature because they look like little hearts.
  • Caladium – These plants come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes and are great for shady gardens.
  • Canna – These tropical beauties have oversized leaves and colorful flowers.
  • Fuchsia – These beautiful brightly colored teardrop-shaped flowers hang from trailing stems.
  • Gladiolus – These pretty tall spikes of flowers come in every color but blue.

Plants For Sound – These plants make sounds from the wind blowing through their stems and leaves.  Plants like bamboo and large-leafed plants work best for this category of plants.  Some great plants to try are:

  • Balloon Flower – The unopened flowers on this plant resemble hot air balloons. Kids love to grow these plants because when they squeezed the balloon-like buds, they pop.
  • Bamboo – There are hundreds of bamboo plants so do your research before planting this perennial evergreen woody stem grass.  It is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world.
  • Chinese Lantern Plant – This ornamental plant will bring some quirkiness to your garden with its delicate red-orange husks.
  • Pampas Grass – Pampas grass is a reliable landscape plant.  It can be used to create a living screen or border backdrop by placing many plants together.
  • Pine Tree – These plants come in all different sizes. They can thrive in many locations and will be enjoyed in the garden for decades.  Plus, they can create a valuable habitat for wildlife.

What you also will find with a “Garden For The Senses”, is the colors of the flowers and different fragrances will attract and help pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds.  Many of these plants also provide a habitat for small birds, insects, and other wildlife.

Let us know if you have any other plants that would be great to include in a sensory garden!

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